Hamidullah Khan, a veteran fighter in his mid-forties, underlined why the wild body counts of the Afghan government is meaningless. These Talibs fight like shark's teeth," he claimed. "We don't leave the ground empty," he added. In modern terms they feel nothing has changed. They see a country mired in corruption. They know there is a government of sorts in distant Kabul but it has no writ in Taliban-controlled areas.
"We don't see any need for talks with this government. Actually there is no such thing as the government. The issue here is foreign countries and we deal with them by fighting like this. Jihad is the only way for us," Khan says.
"People want to defend their independence, Islam and Afghan national pride. That's why they come and support the Taliban," he added.