Afghan warlord vows fresh attacks on NATO
LONDON / KABUL
US Army soldiers operating under the NATO sponsored International Security Assistance Force patrol in Logar Province in this file photo. Taliban likens the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan to its pullout from Vietnam. AP photoAfghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar vowed in an interview published yesterday to kill as many Western soldiers as possible before NATO combat forces withdraw from the country in 2014.
Hekmatyar, a former prime minister who leads Afghanistan’s second largest militant group Hezb-i-Islami, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that fresh attacks would send a warning to “others waiting to invade Afghanistan.”
“Before the withdrawal of invading forces, the Mujahideen would like to witness with their own eyes a scene that will teach the invaders to never think of coming this way again,” he said in a video obtained by the Telegraph in response to questions asked through an intermediary.
Hekmatyar, designated a global terrorist by the United States, warned that Afghanistan could collapse into bloody civil unrest after NATO troops withdraw, 13 years after the U.S.-led invasion, Agence France-Presse reported.
Taliban likens pullout to Vietnam war
“The fact is that the government has failed,” said the former premier, who is shown in the video with a white beard and wearing a black turban. “We might have a dreadful situation after 2014 which no one could have anticipated.”
NATO is aiming to train 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police. American-led NATO troops are scheduled to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
But trust between the two sides has been seriously undermined by “insider” attacks by Afghan forces that killed more than 60 foreign troops in 2012.
Hekmatyar indicated that Hezb-i-Islami, notorious for its bloody siege of Kabul in the 1990s, has softened some of its hardline Islamist policies such as banning women from education. Hekmatyar’s remarks came soon after the Taliban likened the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan to its pullout from Vietnam, calling it a “declare victory and run” strategy, The Associated Press reported. “They want to flee from Afghanistan just as they turned tail and ran from Vietnam,” the Taliban statement said.
“When America faced utter destruction in Vietnam, they came up with the formula ‘declare victory and run’ and want to utilize the formula of ’transfer security and run’ here in Afghanistan.”