Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pakistan Taliban Defiant Over Afghan War Push

The Pakistan Taliban has admitted for the first time its forces are fighting in Afghanistan and insisted a US troop sSky News obtained what is believed to be the first interview with the group's leadership since the Pakistan's military began its offensive in the tribal area of South Waziristan.

In the video footage, Tehreik e Taliban's deputy leader Wali ur Rehman said his fighters were undeterred by America sending an extra 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

He said: "US defeat in Afghanistan is more visible day by day. Statements from their officials and army generals show that they are fed up and questioning how long they stay in Afghanistan.

If I did not think that the security of the US... was at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.

Read our report on the US sending more troops to Afghanistan

"They don't have an idea that the Afghan nation and fighters from all over the Muslim world fight like brave soldiers.

"US plans have failed in Afghanistan. Soon the US will face defeat in Afghanistan and will withdraw their forces."

The interview was obtained on the condition that Sky did not reveal when it was filmed or where.

But the militant leader admitted he himself had travelled several times to Afghanistan with the mujaheddin (fighters) and fought mainly in Khost, in the east of the country.

We fight in Afghanistan, and we will fight there until we defeat the cruel non-Muslim forces.

Tehreik e Taliban's deputy leader Wali ur Rehman

He went on to explain why the Pakistan Taliban was working alongside rebel forces in Afghanistan.

"We think it is our duty to help our Afghan brothers fight the US," Rehman said.

"It is our prime duty to fight in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Allah directed us to fight with our nearest non-Muslims.

"Yes, we accept it and we fight in Afghanistan, and we will fight there until we defeat the cruel non-Muslim forces."

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His admission comes months after the Pakistan military mounted the offensive to rout South Waziristan of the Taliban.

The interview appeared to be evidence that the Taliban leadership, at least, continues to be able to issue threats and interviews to the media, despite the apparent constant army bombardment.

Access to the battle zone is heavily restricted apart from army escorted trips for certain media representatives.

The interview is likely to be viewed with some concern by the Western forces battling the militant insurgency inside Afghanistan.

It has long been suspected that the Afghan militant groups were getting help and support from militants across the border
urge will not defeat them.


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