WHEN IS THE WEST GOING TO WAKE UP AND QUIT PLAYING AROUND WITH THESE ‘ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS’? AND THE MUSLIMS WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY SUPPORTING THEM BEHIND OUR BACKS?
Taliban leader says peace talks are ‘misleading rumours’
KABUL – Taliban leader Mullah Omar said in a statement Monday that reports of peace talks between militants and the Afghan government were “misleading rumours” and dismissed the coalition surge as ineffective.
The reclusive head of the militant Islamist group, who is rumoured to be in Pakistan, said that “the enemy has resorted to spreading the misleading rumours of peace talks” because foreign forces were being defeated by Taliban fighters.
Omar’s statement, emailed to media organisations and posted in a number of languages on the SITE Intelligence Group’s website, came on the eve of the major Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday.
“The moments of defeat of the invaders have approached now due to the special victory and the sincere sacrifices of the Mujahideen,” said the one-eyed fugitive, according to the English-language statement.
“The enemy has been defeated on the battlefield. Now they rely on media hypes and portray themselves as if making advancement but the ground realities are what you and we are witnessing.
“Their life casualties are spiralling up. It is because of this pressure that the enemy has resorted to spreading the misleading rumours of peace talks.”
Omar, who rarely issues public statements, said the Taliban maintained that its aim was solely to drive out foreign forces from Afghanistan.
“Claims of negotiation, flexibility in the stance of the Islamic Emirate (of Afghanistan — the Taliban) are mere baseless propaganda” and a “hollow” smokescreen to mask the U.S. and NATO-led coalition’s failures, he added.
NATO leaders gather in the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Friday for a two-day meeting which is likely to be dominated by the conflict in Afghanistan and a timetable for the withdrawal of the more than 150,000 foreign troops.
The 28-member bloc backs Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s plan for the first drawdown of international soldiers to begin from July 2011 and a complete transfer of powers over security to local forces by the end of 2014.
Omar outlined the Taliban’s own strategy in response.
“The aim is to entangle the enemy in an exhausting war of attrition and wear it away like the former Soviet Union,” he wrote.
“This will force it (to) face disintegration after dealing a crushing and decisive blow at it that it would not be able to hold itself thereafter.”
The Taliban’s short and long-term plan was “to increase our operations step by step and spread them to all parts of the country to compel the enemy to come out from their hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids”, he added.
Omar said the strategy had proved successful in Marjah and Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of extra U.S. troops were sent earlier this year to crush the stiff Taliban resistance, with mixed results.
“The troops surge made no change in the status quo and never will they be able to turn the tide . . . The more the war prolongs, the more casualties of your troops increase and the more its economic burden become heavier.” he added.