Taliban chief demands foreign troops to leave Afghanistan

New Taliban chief says Afghanistan government should end occupation of foreign troops and cancel security deal with US if they want peace

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the Taliban’s new leader, demanded the Afghan government on Monday to expel foreign troops from country and cancel security deal with the United States in a message he released marking the Muslim holiday Eid-ul-Adha.

Mansour took charge of Taliban in September after the news of former leader and founder Mullah Omar had been dead for more than two years was confirmed in July. Followingly, Mansour was accepted as the new leader of Taliban with a statement released by Omar’s relatives and family.

The statement said “Al-haj Mullah Abdul Manan, the brother of the honorable late Amirul Momineen and son of the late Amirul Momineen have declared allegiance to Mullah Mansoor on behalf of their family.”

In his first messagge to Afghan government as Taliban leader, Mansour raised the possibility of peace talks with the Kabul government on condition that only Taliban and the government to be involved in the talks.

"If the Kabul administration wants to end the war and establish peace in the country, it is possible through ending the occupation and revoking all military and security treaties with the invaders."

"The creation of different groups ... is the last conspiracy of the invaders for continuation of the American proxy war in Afghanistan," he said.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, Taliban's new leader, is seen in this undated handout photograph by the Taliban.

The Afghan government and the United States have signed a security deal in 2014, allowing 10,000 US troops to remain in the country after NATO’s combat mission ended in December 2014.

The deal was refused to sign by former president Hamid Karzai after US demanded immunity from prosecution for its troops. He had said, "I am not happy to say that there is partial security. That's not what we are seeking. What we wanted was absolute security and a clear-cut war against terrorism."

However, Ashraf Ghani, next Afghan President after Karzai welcomed the deal saying that  “Afghanistan has regained its sovereignty as a power.”

Taliban said in the message that it opposes to Ghani government’s decision to let foreign troops to stay in the country who have been present since the 2001 US intervention to Afghanistan.

"Taliban believes if the country is not under occupation, the problem of the Afghans can be resolved through intra-Afghan understanding,"

The message posted in English on the Taliban's website under Mansour’s name also encouraged for unity.

"God willing, the Afghan Muslim people will, through their strengthening of unity, foil this conspiracy."

TRTWorld and agencies