`Taliban do not represent the popular will of Afghans`

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 11:58

Washington: The Taliban do not represent
the popular will of the people in Afghanistan, a top Obama
Administration official has said, a day after a former ISI
chief told a US news network that the militant group
represents the national resistance movement of that country.

"They (the Taliban) do not represent the popular will
in Afghanistan and every poll, every survey, I`d particularly
bring your attention to the BBC/ABC/ARD poll of earlier this
year shows that their support is in the single digits,"
Special US Representatives for Pakistan and Afghanistan,
Richard Holbrooke, told reporters at a news briefing.

"But entrenched, ruthless people have the ability to
kill unarmed people who were coming back from a humanitarian
mission. It`s not hard to do. It just illustrates the nature
of the enemy," he said in response to a question.

"I don`t think in any way, shape, or form it shows
that the people of Afghanistan support this; in fact, on the
contrary," Holbrooke said.

A day earlier, former ISI chief General Hamid Gul in
an interview to the CNN claimed the Taliban should be
recognised as a national resistance movement and the US should
hold talks with its leader Mullah Omar for peace in the
"This (the Taliban) is a national resistance movement.
It should be recognised as such. They are Mujahideen of
Afghanistan, as they were during the occupation by Soviet
Union of Afghanistan. I think they are gaining momentum,
gaining strength by the day. This should be now understood
properly," Gul told Fareed Zakaria in an interview.

Only Mullah Omar can guarantee that there would be no
threat to the US from this part of the world, he said.
"There is only one man who can give the guarantee that there
will be no terrorism exported from Afghanistan. Neither Karzai
nor somebody else, not even Pakistani government, nobody can
give you the guarantee," Gul said.
"One man who can give the guarantee is Mullah Omar
because he symbolises today the Afghan resistance. He has to
be talked to. Don`t talk to Karzai. He`s a puppet," Gul said
in response to a question when asked what advice he would give
to Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General
David Petraeus.


First Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 11:58

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