Mullah Omar’s Eid message insane: Nato
General John Allen pilloried the statement as “an unmistakable message of death, hate and hopelessness for the Afghan people” on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Calling Omar a “deranged man” using “insane language”, Allen scoffs at his call on Taliban militants to avoid killing civilians, pointing to the deaths of dozens of civilians in a series of suicide and bomb attacks this week.
“Either Omar is lying, or his henchmen are not listening to him, but it is clear that innocent Afghan civilians are paying the price for his corrupt leadership,” Allen said in a statement. In an apparent move to allay fears among some Taliban factions, Omar said in his seven-page statement that initial talks with the United States “had not meant submission or abandoning our goals”.
Instead they had been aimed at initiating an exchange of prisoners, opening a political office and to “reach our goals”, he said, noting that the Taliban had suspended the talks earlier this year. He called the “so-called transition”, under which NATO is handing increasing responsibility for the war to Afghan security forces ahead of the exit of some 130,000 foreign troops by the end of 2014, a sign of defeat. And Omar, said by the Afghan government to be based in neighbouring Pakistan, warned the war would continue after their departure.
“The Afghan people will wage jihad (holy war) against the foreign invasion until complete independence of the country, though the invasion may ensconce itself in the garb of peace-keeping forces or strategic cooperation,” he said. —AFP