While United States President Barack Obama [ Images ] arrived in Kabul to assess the security situation of the country early Wednesday, the Afghan Taliban [ Images ] has announced a fresh spring offensive throughout the country from Thursday. Tahir Ali reports
Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of the US SEAL raid against bin Laden, arriving and leaving under the cover of darkness, during which he signed a strategic partnership with the Afghan government pledging US military and economic support for the country for a decade after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops withdraw in 2014.
In his nationally-televised address from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, Obama said, "Al Qaeda's [ Images ] extremist allies within the Taliban have waged a brutal insurgency. But over the last three years the tide has turned; the US broke the Taliban's momentum, built strong Afghan security forces and devastated Al Qaeda's leadership, taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders."
Responding to the US president claim the Afghan Taliban, popularly known as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, announced fresh countrywide spring offensive named 'Al-Farooq' that would be kicked off this week.
"The Al-Farooq Jihadi spring operation shall commence simultaneously in all parts of Afghanistan on May 3, 2012," the statement revealed.
Explaining the motive behind choosing name this particular name, the statement said, "As the period for the inception of new Jihadi activities against the foreign forces each year is chosen and named by Islamic Emirate under new Jihadi title in consideration with the seasonal and atmospheric conditions, we would once again like to announce the current year's spring operation against the invaders under the glorified Jihadi name of 'Al-Farooq."
According to the statement, "The primary target of Al-Farooq operation will be the foreign invaders, their advisors, their contractors and members of all associated military, intelligence and auxiliary departments."
Taliban claims that they would target high ranking officials of the Kabul; members of parliament; those associated with ministries of defense, intelligence and interior; members of High Peace Council; militia under the name of 'Arbaki' and all those people who work against Taliban.
The Taliban also claims to apply new techniques during their fresh offensive and to keep the civilians safe from any kind of damages.
"New and tested war tactics will be implemented in the new operation, and top priority will be given to safeguarding the lives and wealth of civilians. It is hoped that civilians stay away from the bases of invaders and their hirelings, their military convoys and refrain from going close to explosion sites as the enemy intentionally targets civilians to avenge the caused death/injury and attributes it to the Taliban."
The Afghan Taliban have asked all those who are associated with the administration of Karzai, the national army, national police and all those who are siding with the foreigners to stop backing the NATO forces and to abandon any kind of relations with them.
"In case this call is not heeded, all responsibility shall befall the transgressors because the Mujahideen [ Images ], in defense of their country and religious sanctities, are Islamically bound and have the right to kill the foreign occupiers and their supporters, capture them and to prosecute them for their illegal actions", the Taliban warns.
The leadership of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has called Afghan nationals to stop working with the Karzai government and to join them in their struggle against the foreign occupiers.