Kabul, Oct 25: Maulvi Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, Foreign Minister in the Taliban regime, has said that there no such thing as a moderate Taliban, and favoured the presence of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan until the various Afghan factions were independently able to resolve their problems.
Concerning talks between "moderate" Taliban and some European countries, he said there was no such thing as a moderate Taliban. Seen as a moderate Taliban himself, Mutawakil confessed that the Taliban regime had made several mistakes.
However, he said they would amend those in any future set up, and added that that Mullah Omar was still controlling the Taliban. "Considering that no other man inside the movement has challenged him, it is enough to believe he is leading the militia," he claimed.
Regarding the replacement of NATO and US troops with a force drawn from Muslim countries, Mutawakil said foreign armies were not the answer to the Afghan imbroglio.
He said the battles between Taliban insurgents and foreign troops would never end and could only lead to bad consequences for Afghanistan. "Whether balanced or otherwise, a war such as the one being fought by NATO and coalition forces in Afghanistan can never reach a logical conclusion," Mutawakil opined.
He denied the claim that Pakistani intelligence agencies created the Taliban and aided their government, saying that the "roots of the Afghan problem lie inside Afghanistan". "In my view, the root cause of the problem lies in Afghanistan and a solution must be sought within the war-devastated country," Mutawakil said.
He said Afghanistan"s internal situation, including the establishment of mini-states by warlords, infighting among mujahideen and widespread lawlessness in the wake of the Soviet pullout had led to the emergence of the Taliban. Mutawakil said the best way of bringing peace to Afghanistan was to let the Afghans decide their own future without any outside interference.
He appreciated the recent peace jirga between Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying the positive beginning could go a long way towards resolving Kabul-Islamabad disagreements. However, he added, the jirga "would not address internal issues facing Afghanistan".
Mutawakil said he did not believe the Taliban would attend the second jirga in Islamabad considering their opposition to the first jirga, the Daily Times reported.