Kabul: The Taliban vowed on Sunday to keep
fighting the US-led coalition and force them to abandon
Afghanistan ahead of a 2014 date set by the alliance for the
transition of security to Afghan control.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in message
e-mailed to the media that NATO will be unable to establish a
stable government in Afghanistan by that date. He did not
mention an offer from President Hamid Karzai for peace talks
and eventual reconciliation, an offer rejected by the
hard-line Taliban leadership.
During the summit, NATO leaders agreed to begin handing
off security responsibility to Afghan security forces in early
2011, with a full transition targeted for the end of 2014. No
timetable was set for the gradual transition of Afghanistan`s
34 provinces to Afghan control and some troops are expected to
remain in a combat role after 2014, although most
international troops will be in a training role.
Mujahid said the Taliban "will not remain silent even for
a single night until and unless the goal of complete freedom
and the formation of an independent government is achieved.
They will not wait for the time of implementation of a given
decision or timetable of withdrawal."
NATO officials have said in Kabul that the transition
will not necessarily mean that troops will be withdrawn, but
could be moved to regions where they are needed.
President Barack Obama has said a decision to withdraw
would be conditional on the situation on the ground. In late
2009, Obama had spoken of starting a gradual pullout in July