'Troop surge in Afghanistan will boost Taliban'

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London, Dec. 13 (ANI): Richard Barrett, the head of the United Nations' unit monitoring the Taliban and al-Qaida, has warned that the troop surge in Afghanistan' will give a boost to the Taliban.

The shocking claim of the former MI6 agent, who leading the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, comes at a time when deployment of 500 more British and 30,000 more American soldiers in Afghanistan has been finalized.

"The presence of foreign troops has made it easier for the Taliban to recruit foot soldiers and gain support by defining their objectives in a way that has broad appeal to the Afghan and Pakistan population," News of the World quoted Barrett, as saying.

"It's very hard to see that the cost in lives and money of the Afghan campaign make the streets of Britain or anywhere else safer. Possibly the reverse," he added.

Barrett insists that over 100 people convicted of terrorism offences in Britain were trying to carry out attacks planned in Afghanistan.

"A few thousand more boots on the ground may just push the fight into more remote areas which are currently quiet because no one is there to challenge the Taliban. I cannot see any number of troops eliminating the Taliban," he said.

Barrett's "most wanted" list is used by coalition forces and contains 255 al-Qaida and 142 Taliban names.

Writing in The Spectator magazine he says: "In Afghanistan it has the reputation of being a death list. From a UN point of view, we don't agree with extrajudicial killing, but we know most are killed by international forces if found." (ANI)

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