In his yearly Eid-al-Adha message to his followers, Taliban emir Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada dashed all hopes for a holiday ceasefire and urged his jihadists to continue the fight.
Unlike last year, when Hibatullah issued a unilateral three-day cease fire during Eid, he urged his followers to continue the fight and “pave the way for withdrawal of invaders and establishment of a true Islamic system.”
Hibatullah’s message, which was published today on the Taliban’s official website, Voice of Jihad, is consistent with the Taliban’s strategy of ramping up the pressure while negotiating with the US to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.
… the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate – with Divine Help from Allah and support of its resolute nation – has taken incredible strides forward both militarily and politically and are progressing towards success with great wisdom and caution. The Mujahideen have taken over large areas across the country amid the Al-Fath Operations. Besides rural areas, they have extended and solidified their control over highways and strategic points. They have taken military initiative from the enemy on the ground and left them with only blind airstrikes. The spirit of solidarity, coordination, discipline and obedience is at an all-time high.
The “true Islamic system” and “Islamic government” that Hibatullah refers to is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
It is a decisive achievement that majority of the Afghan political class currently backs the Islamic Emirate in its demand for the establishment of an Islamic government and withdrawal of foreign forces and supports its eighteen-year lawful call (for such an outcome).
Whether we perform armed Jihad for the cause of Allah or engage in dialogue and negotiation processes, both are a means for ending the occupation and establishing an Islamic system.
Hibatullah’s demand for the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is nothing new. This has been a consistent theme of the Taliban since the US invaded in 2001.
The Taliban sees it as its religious duty to wage jihad and reimpose its brutal regime on the Afghan people. It has steadfastly refused to share power with the current Afghan government, which it views as a “puppet” of the West, nor will it negotiate with the government.
The Taliban has ramped up its suicide attacks, roadside bombings, and military assaults that have targeted civilians, government officials, and security forces alike in Kabul and throughout the country. Despite the Taliban’s relentless assault, Zalmay Khalilzad – the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation – continues to push for negotiations with the terror group.
Khalilzad weakly denounced yesterday’s massive suicide bombing in Kabul, and instead of halting talks, somehow pressed for them to continue.