Islamabad: As the guns fell silent in Afghan
capital Kabul after a 20-hour stand-off between NATO forces
and Taliban, the two sides began another battle: on Twitter.
NATO and Taliban may be shying away from a peace process
but they had no inhibition to trade in barbs and indulging in
no hold barred spat, in a burst of virtual conversations.
The first salvo was fired by the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF), who spokesman tweeted, "Re: Taliban
spox on #Kabul attack: the outcome is inevitable. Question is
how much longer will terrorist put innocent Afghans in harm`s
The Taliban who, when in rule, barred modern technology,
including television and music players fired back.
Taliban tweeter Abdulqahar Balk (@ABalkhi) wrote:
"@ISAFmedia i dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n `harm`s way` fr da
pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk
bout `harm`s way`"
(In plain English, it means: I didn`t know. You have been
putting them in harm`s way for the past 10 years. Razed whole
villages and markets. And still have the nerve to talk about
@ISAFmedia, which generally provides dry updates in
military language on the security situation in Afghanistan,
wrote back, "Really, @abalkhi? Unama reported 80% of
civilians causalities are caused by insurgent (your)
But the Taliban tweeter questioned the statistics,
sarcastically pointing out that ISAF, an organisation
established by the UN security council, was using figures from
another UN body - UNMA (the UN assistance mission in
Afghanistan) to try to win the argument.
"@ISAFmedia Unama is an entity of whom? mine or yours?"
For a while, the war of words cooled down. However, the
Taliban kept on instigating referring to a CNN article
headlined "Pentagon: Afghan insurgency `less effective` this
Taliban wrote `LOL`, which in chat language means Laughing
@ISAFmedia later renewed hostilities, linking to a YouTube
video of the commander of NATO-led forces, General John Allen,
checking on his troops after the attacks on the US embassy and
ISAF headquarters, and asking: "Hey @alemarahweb, does your
boss do this?"
A NATO spokesman in Kabul was quoted by media reports as
saying that the exchange was part of a stepped up campaign to
fight what it perceives as misinformation on social networks.
"This past week, we started engaging a little more," the
NATO spokesman Lt Col Jimmy E Cummings Jr said.