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Musharraf siding with US against Muslims: Taliban
September 17, 2006 18:23 IST
Charging President Pervez Musharraf with opposing Taliban at the behest of the US and the Afghan President, a senior militia leader has warned that any violation of Pakistan government's agreement with the local Taliban in Waziristan would destabilise the area.
"We know Musharraf has been siding with President George W Bush against fellow Muslims. At the behest of the US, he waged war against the Taliban in Waziristan and is now publicly proposing to Karzai to jointly fight the Taliban and Talibanisation," Mulla Dadullah Akhund, Taliban military commander said.
He said, "Pakistan Taliban, which stopped fighting in Waziristan tribal belt following the recent agreement with the Pakistan government would be justified to retaliate if Musharraf broke the truce and went back on his word for peacefully resolving the conflict."
"Violation of the terms of the recent peace agreement in Waziristan would cause problems and destabilize the area," he was quoted as saying by The News in an interview given via satellite phone.
Akhund was referring to a deal which Pakistan claims to have entered with local tribal leaders, which stipulated that fighting between local Taliban and Pakistan army should seize and the tribal should stop providing shelter to hundreds of foreign militants holed up there.
The deal which was criticised in Pakistan and abroad also stipulates that the militants should stop crossing into Afghanistan to fight the Afghan and foreign forces there.
Akhund said he visited North and South Waziristan in Pakistan's tribal areas about three months ago and advised the Taliban there not to fight their country's armed forces.
"I told the Pakistani tribal militants that fighting in Waziristan was in the interest of America. My argument was that we should fight the US, UK and armies of other Western countries," he said.
Akhund argued that the Taliban fight was with the Americans and their allies and not with the Pakistan Army. Further, he claimed to have 500 suicide bombers at his disposal to launch them any time.
"Other Taliban commanders have their own list of fidayeen and it is growing with names of more and more volunteers," he said.
He also claimed 12,000 Taliban fighters were resisting US-led foreign forces under his command in four south western provinces.
"We have no shortage of fighters. In fact, we have so many of them that it is difficult to accommodate and arm and equip them. Some of them have been waiting for a year or more for their turn to be sent to the battle field," he claimed.
Akhund said the Taliban would be launching new and bigger attacks in Afghan cities from spring next year. Kabul would be specially targeted as it was Afghanistan's capital and the headquarters for the US and other Western forces, he said.
Asked about the possibility of holding talks with US, NATO and Afghan authorities, Akhund said all foreign forces should first withdraw from Afghanistan and apologise for attacking and destroying our country and people.
He said deployment of more NATO troops in southern Afghanistan would not make any difference to the Taliban. He added that only 14 Taliban fighters, and not 500 as claimed by NATO, were killed in the recent fighting in Panjwai district in Kandahar.