PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban have rejected talks with US officials in Saudi Arabia, saying they have nothing to do with the peace plan of President Hamid Karzai.
“We have made it clear that anybody participating in the US-sponsored dialogue will be hanged,” Abu Muhammad Almukhlis, chief of the Taliban Paktia Shura and head of the Taliban intelligence wing told The Express Tribune by the phone from an undisclosed location.
“There is no concept of fake Taliban in Afghanistan. There is only one movement of the Taliban which is the Tehreek-e-Taliban Amarat-e-Islamia led by Mullah Omar,” said Almukhlis.
He disowned the Quetta Shura, saying that the real Taliban Shura is based in Afghanistan. He also said that President Karzai’s talks offer is akin to surrendering to the US. “There will be no dialogue until the coalition forces pull out of Afghanistan. This dialogue is a drama staged by the US to deceive Muslims,” he added.
Almukhlis claimed that the Taliban have established a shadow government in the whole of Afghanistan. And that coalition forces are in control of only Kabul.
The Taliban leader called Karzai a mere puppet in the hands of the United States. “The Afghan government has been hand-picked by the Americans which does not have any legitimacy,” he added.
Almukhlis called for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to play their role in restoration of peace in the war-torn country. “Pakistan’s reservations about India’s growing influence in Afghanistan are not baseless,” he said. However, he added that they would not allow anyone to use Afghanistan’s soil against any other country.
He said that the Afghan government or coalition forces could not weaken the Taliban resistance movement by holding dialogues with “fake” Taliban. “The US cannot create a schism in our movement,” he added.
Almukhlis defended suicide attacks in Afghanistan, calling them Fidayeen attacks. However, he condemned suicide attacks in Pakistan as un-Islamic. About relations between Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, he said the Pakistan Taliban were independent in their decision-making and working as an independent group.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2010.
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