Taliban generals advise US withdrawal

Several former Taliban leaders have advised US forces to leave Afghanistan, threatening severe consequences in widely distributed pamphlets should their warning go unheeded.

    Dissatisfaction among some elements in south Afghanistan continues to grow

    The Pashto language pamphlet said: "We advise US forces to leave Afghanistan immediately as the Afghan people cannot be purchased with dollars. We are determined that the Afghan masses will never accept foreign law and oppression.”

    The pamphlet carries the signatures of Mulla Akhtar Usman, Mullah Bradar, Mulla Abd al-Rauf and Hafiz Abd al-Rahim – all men sought by US forces in the mountainous central Asian country.
      
    In copies of the signed letters distributed in border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the four Taliban generals also urge Afghan troops to stop backing the "infidel" US force in their country. 
      
    Afghan troops warned

    The leaflets, secretly distributed in the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak and in the neighbouring Pakistani town of Chaman in southwestern Balochistan province, threaten Afghans cooperating with US forces.
      
    "Taliban mujahideen will kill them one by one, along with their American masters and will inflict a humiliating defeat that will be recorded in history."
      
    The four leaders were senior commanders in the Taliban government ousted in a US-led military campaign in late 2001.

    US forces justified their invasion of Afghanistan after the Taliban refused to hand over Usama bin Ladin, head of al-Qaida, blamed for the 11 September 2001 attacks in Washington and New York.
      
    The generals are currently sought by US and Afghan forces, both of whom come under regular attack from Taliban and al-Qaida remnants in Afghanistan's southern and eastern border districts.

    Change of command

    The new threat comes as  NATO takes command of peacekeepers in the Afghan capital.

    At a ceremony in Kabul on Monday, German Defence Minister Peter Struck said NATO's job was to ensure the country did not again become a safe haven for “terrorism”.

    "There is still a lot to be done,” he said. “Afghanistan must not lapse back into anarchy or chaos. Afghanistan must not again become the home of global terror as was the case under the rule of the Taliban.”

    Germany and the Netherlands had held joint command of 5000-strong International Security Assistance Force until the handover, which was attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General James Jones.

    SOURCE: AFP


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