Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Message to the Afghan People
October 5, 2001
Terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September resulted in the deaths of 7,000
people. All nations, all religions were among the victims. Many British citizens
and Muslims died. The victims and their families deserve justice.
A new world consensus against terrorism has taken shape. Islamic leaders have
condemned these callous attacks, and joined that consensus. Together we are
determined to bring those responsible to justice, and to root out terrorism
and its supporters throughout the world. This is not a fight against Islam,
it is a fight against terror. All religions value life, justice, compassion.
Terrorists do not.
There has been no rush to retaliate. Our interest is not revenge, but justice
and security. We are patiently and methodically gathering the information: it
points clearly to the involvement of the terrorist group headed by Usama Bin
Laden. He and his supporters must be brought to justice.
We have no quarrel with the people of Afghanistan. But foreign extremists are
abusing the traditional hospitality of the Afghan people. The Taliban regime
harms Afghanistan and its people by protecting Usama Bin Laden and his colleagues
from justice. We have asked the Taliban leadership to hand over Usama Bin Laden
and other AI Qaida leaders, to close down AI Qaida training camps and to make
certain that Afghanistan can no longer harbour terrorists and their networks.
They have refused. Those who try to shield such men from justice share their
While the Taliban leaders connive with foreign terrorists, the Afghan people
suffer from poverty, drought and hunger. Those who have been trying to help
the Afghan people have been driven from Afghanistan. The world is still helping
the Afghan people from outside the country. The UK alone has given £25
million to help with the immediate humanitarian crisis. This will mean food,
water and blankets for refugees. We are working urgently with the whole international
community to ensure that people still inside Afghanistan also get the help they
need, now blocked by the regime.
We want to do more both now and in the future. We want to work with all responsible
Afghans to bring peace to the country and to help it on the path of stable development.
This means responding to the needs of ordinary people - providing schools and
clinics, roads and helping people establish more secure livelihoods. Afghanistan's
friends will be generous in their help.
Our commitment to the Afghan people is simple and sincere. You have been ill-served
by those who have made your country a haven for terrorists across the world.
As soon as this stops the world will work with you, to build a better future
for you, and for your children.
Crown copyright material reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.