Kabul, June 4 (IANS) Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the Taliban, said that despite it’s belief in the peace negotiation talks as one of the core components of the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, the group will still continue the path of jihad and strengthen its military power.
In a message to mark the completion of training of a group of Taliban suicide bombers at an unknown location, Haqqani on Wednesday said that the peace process does not mean the Taliban will abandon the path of jihad, TOLO News reported.
Footage released on the group’s social media platforms show a group of Taliban fighters wearing suicide vests who are passing in a parade in front of the Taliban’s military commission.
“We believe that the talks are the solution, the politics of sharia (Islamic) law is one of the paths of our jihad and struggle, but no one should miscalculate our politics and willingness for talks — they shouldn’t expect (the Taliban) to abandon jihad and their military capabilities,” said Haqqani.
Haqqani’s remarks comes after a UN report was released last week which stated that the Taliban had failed to fulfil one of the core parts of the US-Taliban agreement, namely that it would break ties with Al Qaeda.
According to the UN report, a new group named Hizb-e-Wilayat-e-Islami has been created outside Afghanistan which encompasses the splinter members of the Taliban who are opposing the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban.
Al Qaeda has 400 to 600 operatives active in 12 Afghan provinces and is running training camps in the east of the country.
According to the UN report, the senior leadership of Al Qaeda remains present in Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of armed operatives, Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, and groups of foreign terrorist fighters aligned with the Taliban.