Afghan Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar on Friday issued his traditional ‘Eid message’, asking his fighters to protect Afghanistan’s borders.
“I call on all Mujahideen in the frontier areas to protect their borders and maintain good relations with neighbouring countries on the basis of mutual respect,” said the Taliban leader, whose whereabouts are unknown since the US-led forces dislodged the Taliban regime in late 2001.
He assured the world and the neighbours that the Taliban struggle was aimed only at forming an “independent Islamic state and winning independence of our country”.
“We don’t intend to interfere in the [internal] affairs of the region and the countries of the world, nor do we want to harm them. Similarly, we don’t tolerate their role to harm us and urge them to have reciprocal stance.”
Mullah Omar said the Taliban were winning their war against foreign forces and said that they would continue fighting till the last foreign soldier left Afghanistan. “We believe the war in Afghanistan will come to an end when all foreign invaders pull out of Afghanistan and an independent Islamic regime prevails here,” he said in the message posted on the Taliban website.
The Taliban chief said the presence of limited number of troops under whatever title it may be would mean continuation of the war. “This is because no one can tolerate invading forces on their soil.”
He also opposed the signing of the controversial security agreement with the United States that allows a longer stay of few thousands American troops beyond this year.
The Taliban leader also highlighted the political role of his group and said the Taliban have gained a political facade at internal and external levels through their Qatar office. “Many entities that used to oppose us have now accepted the Islamic Emirate as a reality.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.