Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, has called for a complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in order to restore peace in the war torn country.
He said that the foreign troops pullout was the preliminary step for bringing an end to decades of war and bloodshed in the country, calling foreign forces invaders.
In his message, the Taliban leader reiterated his commitment to not retreat from the path of the group’s founding leader Mullah Omar and his predecessor Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed nearly two months ago in Pakistan during a US drone strike.
He paid tribute to Mansour for his loyalty to the Taliban’s mission in the country and his efforts to fight the U.S led forces in Afghanistan.
He said that Afghanistan has been occupied by invaders, therefore Jihad against the forces was an Islamic obligation.
“Regarding the current policy of the Islamic Emirate I must say that the Islamic Emirate both its military and political wings are pursuing a clear strategy, the Islamic Emirate believes that Afghanistan has been invaded by the invaders, therefore, Jihad is an obligation until a complete withdrawal of the invaders,” the message read.
He said that the Taliban movement had outlined a strategy aimed at establishing a government and united country in line with Islamic law.
“Islamic Emirate’s political office has defined a strategy to remain in contact with the world and the countrymen regarding the situation in Afghanistan and seeking solution to the conflict. However, we need to end the occupation, regain our freedom and establish the Islamic law in the country,” he said.
Although the Taliban leader has asked his loyalists to value the lives of civilians and public assets during the war, the Afghan people cast doubt on the announcement made by the group’s leader.
The statement comes just two days after twin Taliban suicide bombers in Kabul killed at least 32 Afghan police cadets and wounded 53 others marking one of the deadliest attacks on the lives of Afghan police over the last few years.
While, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada demands the withdrawal of foreign forces, on the ground, NATO leaders are set to meet at a summit in Warsaw on July 8-9 where they are expected to renew their military and financial cooperation to Afghanistan until 2020.
Taliban leader promised to strengthen justice, help the injured and the poor and guarantee the rights of women under the Islamic law.
Reactions to Hibatullah’s Message
“Wherever there is an explosion or suicide attacks, only civilians are harmed,” Kabul resident Ehsanullah said.
“Taliban have proved their brutality to the people, showed no mercy on schools or on hospitals or other places, I want to say to the Taliban to think where their leader lives? Where do they get the orders, today the entire nation is united behind the security forces and no one follows the Taliban,” senator Mohammad Asif Sediqqi said.
“We want to call on the armed opponents to stop shedding the blood of people as we are fasting in the holy month of Ramazan, this is an unlawful action,” Kabul resident Dadullah said.
“One of our neighboring countries funds and equips them (Taliban), I think people can no longer take the violence and killings by this group,” a member of the high peace council Ismail Qasimyar said.
“As I know, Taliban leadership does not want the peace window to close, Taliban want political talks to continue alongside the battles,” former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha said.
“This is not the first time the group puts out a message, their messages only convey the message of chaos and violence, if God willing, their elimination is expected soon, Taliban leadership have always operated abroad and chant the slogans, all people know that their activities are against human rights,” MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.