Post-9/11 Afghan war 'stigma' on West: Taliban



Post-9/11 Afghan war `stigma` on West: Taliban Kabul: The post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan by the US and its allies "will remain a permanent stigma on the face of Western democracy", the Taliban said on Saturday.

The Islamist grouping, which refused to give up al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in the wake of the outrage 10 years ago Sunday, also said the people of Afghanistan had "endless stamina for a long war" and would "send the Americans to the dustbin of history".

In a long statement issued in Persian and English, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said the attacks on the US in 2001 had been used, unjustly, as a "pretext" for the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan

"Each year, the 9/11 reminds the Afghans of an event in which they had no role whatsoever, but, using this as a pretext and a clout, the American colonialism shed blood of tens of thousands of miserable and innocent Afghans. Still the atrocity has been continuing," the English language version said.

The Taliban had called for an "impartial" investigation into the events of 9/11 but the US and its allies had instead responded by "sending cruise missiles, poisonous and depleted uranium embedded weapons instead", it said.

"It will remain a permanent stigma on the face of the Western democracy that America and her Allies martyred tens of thousands of Muslims under the pretext of this ambiguous and murky event.

"Children, old men, women and even infant of a few days are among the victims. They destroyed our villages, orchards, standing plantations and even townships under the unjustified name of war on terror."

"They have been keeping thousands of Afghans in detention at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar prisons and at Shindand, Nangarhar, Mazar-i-sharif, Khust and other bases where they are brutally tortured. Tens of best sons of this land have breathed their last under torture.

"We urge all concerned circles of the world to press on the war-mongering American colonialist rulers to desist from gobbling down our land and natural resources under the so-called unjustified name of terrorism.

"Otherwise, the Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war and, perceivably through a country-wise uprising, will send the Americans to the dustbin of the history like they did send other empires of the past to such a destination. (Inshallah)."

A decade of fighting in Afghanistan began with Operation Enduring Freedom and snowballed into a huge effort currently involving around 140,000 troops from 48 countries.

Launched a month after the 9/11 attacks, the US-led military campaign under president George W Bush was designed to topple the Taliban and ensure al Qaeda could no longer use Afghanistan as a safe haven.

Of 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan, 33,000 will leave by mid-2012, even as a still-potent Taliban insurgency is focused on headline-grabbing suicide attacks against government officials and foreign targets.

In 10 years of conflict, battlefield successes have ebbed and flowed for the troops, who invaded the country on October 7, 2001 alongside the anti-Taliban mujahedeen, driving the Taliban from Kabul by early December.

PTI