Afghan Taliban reject next year's presidential election

Afghan Taliban reject next year's presidential election

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Afghan Taliban will not take part in next year's presidential elections and will wage war until foreign troops leave the country, the group's elusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, said in a message released on Tuesday, Aug 6, according to Reuters.

"As to the deceiving drama under the name of elections 2014, our pious people will not tire themselves out, nor will they participate," an English translation of Omar's message, provided by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said.

The Taliban rejected two previous presidential elections but this was the first time they have publicly boycotted the 2014 poll.

For several years, a message from Omar has been delivered to the Afghan people in the days before Eid al-Fitr, a three-day Islamic holiday celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a period marked by prayer and fasting.

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001, are seeking to overthrow the U.S.-backed government and end foreign occupation.

Omar said the aim of the Taliban's office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, was to see foreign forces leave the country and to form an inclusive government based on "Islamic principles".

Most foreign troops are due to leave the country by the end of next year.

"We do not think of monopolizing power," he said. "Those who truly love Islam and the country and have commitment to both, whoever they maybe or whichever ethnicity or geographical location they hail from, this homeland is theirs," he said.

Omar also said humanitarian organizations should feel free to carry out their work in Afghanistan as long as they were not "inviting people to non-Islamic ways".

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