Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has welcomed the announcement of French President Francois Hollande that his country's troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the current year, terming it as a "realistic decision."
In a statement released in Kabul and carried by Pakistan's DawnNews on Monday, Omar said the decision was a reflection of the French people's opinion. "The declaration of the new President of France, Francois Hollande, that all its troops will be removed from Afghanistan at the end of this year is a decision based on realities and a reflection of the opinion of its nation," he said.
"Terrorism and ground realities had nothing in common. No Afghan had a hand in military operations in other countries and neither are there any proofs hence the occupation of Afghanistan by America is neither sound legally or logically," DawnNews quoted the one-eyed fugitive Taliban leader as saying.
Referring about a TV survey in the U.S., Omar said 69 percent Americans wanted evacuation of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He also warned NATO against imposing any solution upon the Afghan people.
His statement comes as the NATO opened a two-day summit in the U.S. city of Chicago on Sunday to decide the future of Afghanistan in the context of NATO troops pullout from that war-torn country by the end of 2014.
"The occupation of Afghanistan by America through the use of force is a clear violation of a sovereign state which is not justified under any international law," Omar said and accused the United States of running "secret prisons inside all of their airbases in Afghanistan where they keep innocent Afghans."
Newly-elected French President Francois Hollande told reporters in New York on Sunday that he intended to withdraw French troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, two years ahead of the NATO timetable of a unified pullout.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org