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'We will drive foreign troops out of Afghanistan'
January 04, 2007 16:51 IST
Ruling out any negotiations with the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan until US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces left the country, reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has said his group would step up fighting in the coming months to drive out foreign troops.
"Foreign troops should at once leave Afghanistan, and then the institutions they created should be dismantled. Unless this happens, war will heat up further. It will not recede," the one-eyed Omar said in an e-mail interview to Pakistan daily Dawn.
Denying that he and his associates live in Quetta, Pakistan, from where they launch attacks, he said, "We have not received any assistance so far. Nor can anybody prove it. The propaganda by the Western media is always without any proof and is meaningless, that's why they (the US) are using the media as a loudspeaker for their war command. The leadership, resistance and shura are all based here in Afghanistan."
On the policies pursued by Taliban during its years in power in Afghanistan, he said, "Though the Taliban had established its writ in areas that they had conquered, we were still fighting our enemy (the Northern Alliance) in other parts of the country. We could have formed a real government had we achieved full and total control over the entire country and we did manage to run the government in an organised manner with the blessings of Shariah and divine laws."
"If there were problems, those were largely because of the conspiracies of the infidels and foreign enemies. For instance, the imposition of sanctions on the Taliban, strengthening of anti-Taliban forces and preparing them to fight the mujahideen," he said.
"But still I can say this with confidence that the way we managed to form a peaceful government, it could not have been done by anyone else," the Taliban leader said.
In his interview, Omar also took care not to criticise Pakistan's policy vis-a-vis the Taliban and denied Pakistan's projection that the Taliban resurgence was part of a Pashtun uprising.
Making a distinction between the ultimate goals of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, he said jihad is the goal of Osama bin Laden whereas the Taliban were determined to drive American troops out of Afghanistan.
He said the Taliban never felt the need for a permanent relationship with Al Qaeda.
Mullah Omar made it clear that the Taliban was bitterly opposed to jirgas being planned by Kabul and Islamabad in an attempt to end violence in Afghanistan.
He said only government officials and traitors would participate in such jirgas.