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Taliban leader slams al Qaeda
May 09, 2005 21:34 IST
The foreign minister of the ousted Taliban regime, Wakeel Ahmed Mutawakil, has urged the Taliban to hold talks with incumbent Afghan government.
"I ask the Taliban to hold talks with the Afghan government. It will be good for our people," Mutawakil told Khyber TV.
He also criticized the al Qaeda, saying Osama bin Laden and his men had misused Afghan hospitality. The Afghan Shoora of Ulema had unanimously asked Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden to leave Afghanistan, but they had not received a response, he pointed out.
While admitting that the Taliban was no longer an organised force, he noted that they could still organise protests.
In another interview to the BBC, Mutawakil said Osama Bin Laden and his men had abused Afghan hospitality and brought suffering to the country.
"Our guests are always too rich or too strong. That's been Afghanistan's historical problem," said Mutawakil, who, after three years in American detention and subsequent house arrest in Kabul, has emerged as a key player in the government's attempts to forge peace with the Taliban.
"The Russians, the Arabs and now today, well it's not just the Americans, it's the international coalition and Nato. There's no doubt that today's guests are very strong compared to our own forces, our own army at least. They're strong technically."
He also said the current government could learn from the Taliban on some issues, like security, eradication of opium poppies and low rates of government corruption.
'But as to banning girls' schools, a Taliban policy which he used to justify to the world's press, Mutawakil said education is positive and knowledge marks out both men and women as human,' the BBC said.