Taliban Leader to Muslims: Continue Jihad

Mullah OmarMullah Omar
Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar

November 25, 2009

KABUL – The Taliban’s reclusive leader has ruled out talks with President Hamid Karzai and called on Afghans to break off relations with his “stooge” administration.

In a statement Wednesday, Mullah Omar also insisted foreign troops were losing the war in Afghanistan.

His message, issued ahead of the Muslim Eid holiday, came a week after Karzai reached out to the Taliban during his inauguration speech, saying it was important to include in the government former Taliban who were ready to renounce terrorism. The hard-line militia has long refused to negotiate with the Karzai government or join what it considers a puppet administration. …

Omar led the Taliban regime that was toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and has not been seen since. Afghan officials claim he is in hiding in Pakistan.

As the Taliban insurgency gathers strength, President Barack Obama has been considering plans to send tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. U.S. military officials expect an infusion of approximately 32,000 to 35,000 troops to begin in February or March. It would be the largest expansion since the beginning of the war eight years ago. …

‘Stooge’ government

“I hope you will continue your legitimate jihad (holy war) and struggle in the way of realizing your Islamic aspirations … and break off all relations with the stooge Kabul administration,” Omar said.

Omar said there would be no negotiations that would prolong or legitimize the presence of foreign forces in the country.

“Those who have occupied our country and taken our people as hostage, want to use the stratagem of negotiation like they used the drama of elections for some time in order to achieve their colonialist objectives,” he said. “However, the people of Afghanistan will not agree to negotiation which prolongs and legitimizes the invaders’ military presence.”

The Taliban leader lambasted U.S.-backed efforts to create militias that would fight the militants — a plan that has been compared to the U.S.-fostered Awakening Councils in Iraq, which have often been credited with reducing violence there, and similar to neighboring Pakistan’s tribal armies which also have been touted as a success.

Omar called on Taliban militants to “mete out an exemplary punishment to those who are leading these mischief-making activities.” …

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