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‘We Will Not Attack Anyone Else’

by Aamir Iqbal
Mullah Omar during a rare TV appearance in 1996. BBC Newsnight—AFP

Mullah Omar during a rare TV appearance in 1996. BBC Newsnight—AFP

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar assures world leaders that his forces only want to establish Islamic regime in Afghanistan.

In a message marking the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar has assured global leaders that his followers have no intention of expanding their jihad beyond the borders of Afghanistan, in an apparent reference to the Islamic State’s efforts to establish a “caliphate” in the Middle East.

“We assure the world and our neighbors, as we have in the past, that our struggles are aimed only at forming an independent Islamic regime and obtaining the independence of our country,” he says in the written statement. In hiding since 2001, when U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, Mullah Omar also claims the Afghan Taliban don’t want to harm anyone. “We do not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of the region and the countries of the world, nor do we want to harm them,” he says. In the same message, the Afghan Taliban chief urged his followers to protect Afghanistan’s borders and maintain good relations with neighboring countries.

Mullah Omar has also claimed in his Eid message that the Taliban are winning against the “foreign invaders” of Afghanistan as NATO and U.S. forces prepare to exit the region by the end of this year. “The blanket of invasion has rolled back from vast areas,” he said.

The Taliban chief condemned the recently conducted presidential elections, calling them “fake.” He said: “The invaders and their allies wanted to show the Afghans that [tangible] change has taken place through this process. However, Afghans realized their ambitions from the beginning so the majority boycotted the process.”

According to Afghan authorities, the elections had a record turnout, with over 50 percent of the 12 million registered Afghans voting in the polls.

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