Tal­iban as­sure Afghans of bright fu­ture once US 'in­vaders' leave

Afghan Tal­iban chief calls for di­rect talks with US

Daily Messenger - - Front Page -

KABUL: The Tal­iban told “Amer­i­can in­vaders” to leave Afghanistan in an an­nounce­ment mark­ing the end of the fast­ing month of Ra­madan, as­sured the peo­ple of a bright fu­ture un­der Is­lamic rule and said it had al­ready lib­er­ated “vast ar­eas” of the coun­try.

The Tal­iban, who an­nounced a sur­prise three­day cease­fire over the Eid hol­i­day, ex­cept against for­eign forces, also de­nounced the U.S. re­lo­ca­tion of its Is­raeli em­bassy to Jerusalem, which “fur­ther ex­poses the ab­so­lute ha­tred of Amer­i­can of­fi­cials to­wards Is­lam”.

Tal­iban leader Sheikh Haibat­ul­lah Akhun­zada said in the state­ment that Afghans’ sal­va­tion lay in “Amer­i­can and other oc­cu­py­ing forces” leav­ing and re­peated a call for talks with the United States.

“If the Amer­i­can of­fi­cials truly be­lieve in a peace­ful end to the Afghan im­broglio, then they must di­rectly present them­selves at the ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­ble,” Akhun­zada said.

“We also as­sure our na­tion (of) a bright fu­ture for our coun­try ac­com­pa­nied by peace and pros­per­ity, Al­lah will­ing,” he added.

The Tal­iban are fight­ing U.S.-led NATO forces, com­bined un­der the Res­o­lute Sup­port mis­sion, and the U.S.-backed gov­ern­ment to re­store sharia, or Is­lamic law, after their ouster by U.S.-led forces in 2001. “The Amer­i­can in­vaders have not de­sisted from any bru­tal­ity and sever­ity in pur­suit of sub­du­ing our na­tion. They bomb our vil­lages, cities, mosques, madras­sas and other events, mur­der in­no­cent civil­ians, forcibly dis­place them and tor­ment thou­sands of Afghans through unimag­in­able tor­ture in pris­ons,” Akhun­zada said. Res­o­lute Sup­port said in re­sponse it was hope­ful that the Tal­iban stick to their cease­fire “and we hope that pause leads to di­a­logue and progress on rec­on­cil­i­a­tion”.

“Con­sid­er­ing more than

90 per­cent of the ca­su­al­ties in Tal­iban high-pro­file at­tacks in Kabul this year are civil­ians, which is up from more than 80 per­cent in 2017 and 60 per­cent in

2016, peace for Afghanistan is over­due,” spokesman Lieu­tenant-Colonel Martin O’Don­nell said.

The Tal­iban banned cin­ema, TV and mu­sic dur­ing their five-year rule, deem­ing them un-Is­lamic, and in­sisted that women wear al­len­velop­ing burqas. They in­flicted harsh pun­ish­ments for those who did not ad­here to their in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lam. But ob­servers say life in Tal­iban-ruled ar­eas now is much more re­laxed, with mu­sic and TV per­mit­ted, girls al­lowed to go to school up to the age of 11, and women al­lowed to wear less re­stric­tive dress.

Akhun­zada said the Tal­iban had es­tab­lished “ex­em­plary peace” in ar­eas they con­trol.

SIGAR, a U.S. Con­gres­sional watch­dog, said in a re­cent re­port that the gov­ern­ment con­trolled ar­eas with about 65 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion and con­trolled or in­flu­enced 56.3 per­cent of dis­tricts, the sec­ond low­est level since 2015, the first year after most in­ter­na­tional forces left Afghanistan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.