Afghan Taliban leader hails 'legitimate' peace talks

2015-07-15 10:07

Kabul - Taliban leader Mullah Omar on Wednesday hailed as "legitimate" peace talks aimed at ending Afghanistan's 13-year war, in his first comments on the nascent dialogue.

"If we look into our religious regulations, we can find that meetings and even peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited," the reclusive figure said in his annual message on the eve of Eid, the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

"Concurrently with armed Jihad, political endeavours and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle," he said in a statement posted on the Taliban's official website.

Members of the Afghan High Peace Council sat down with Taliban cadres last week in Murree, a tourist town in the hills north of Islamabad, for their first official talks to try to end the militants' bloody fight, now in its 14th year.

They agreed to meet again in the coming weeks, drawing praise from Kabul, Islamabad, Beijing, Washington and the UN.

But while some commanders voiced optimism, many others interviewed by AFP were deeply wary.

The split in responses, with some commanders openly questioning the legitimacy of the Taliban negotiators in Murree, underscored the potentially dangerous faultlines within the movement, particularly between the older leadership and younger.

In the statement, Omar sought to dispel any notion of a split.

"All mujahidin and countrymen should be confident that in this process, I will unwaveringly defend our legal rights and viewpoint everywhere," he said, adding that the purpose of talks was to "bring an end to the occupation" of Afghanistan.

Read more on:    taliban  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.