London, July 5 : The Governor of Afghanistan's Musa Qala district, which lies to the north of the country's Helmand province, Mullah Abdul Salaam, has blamed the Pakistanis and the Iranians for attacks on British troops.
Salaam, a former Taliban commander, gave a warning yesterday that infiltrators from Pakistan and Iran were deliberately attempting to escalate the conflict in Afghanistan.
He said that the insurgency attacks against coalition forces, which have accounted for the worst coalition casualty figures in a single month since the war began, were now principally the work of outsiders rather than the Taleban.
"They come from Pakistan, they come from Iran," Mullah Salaam said in an interview with The Times and two other newspapers.
"It is like a sickness that everybody is doing suicide bombs. There is nothing like suicide bombs in our religion. It is nothing to do with our religion," he added.
The Governor, who spoke in the office of his compound in the heavily protected District Centre of Musa Qala, insisted that the war against the Taleban and its allies was being waged in the name of democracy.
As for his relationship with President Karzai, which has occasionally come under strain, he said: "It is a good relationship with our President. We have good relations because he is our Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and I don't have any problem [with that]. If I had any problems with him I don't think I would be Governor any more."