London: Insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and capturing Kabul is ‘a very distant prospect’, one of the Taliban's most senior commanders has admitted.
During an interview with New Statesman, the commander, described as a Taliban veteran, also slammed al Qaeda for destroying Afghanistan through its policies and called the terror group a ‘plague’.
“At least 70 percent of the Taliban are angry at al Qaeda. Our people consider al Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the Guardian quoted the commander, as saying.
“To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country,” he added.
According to the paper, Mawlvi’s scepticism over his own side's military prospects is in particularly striking contrast to the consistently triumphalist output of official Taliban statements.
“It is in the nature of war that both sides dream of victory. But the balance of power in the Afghan conflict is obvious. It would take some kind of divine intervention for the Taliban to win this war,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
“The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake,” he said.
“Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth – that they cannot prevail over the power they confront,” he added.
First Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 12:14