Quiet Friday in Kabul; Mullah Abdullah threatens Canada, Britian
Mullah Dadullah on Al Jazeera.
Kabul, Afghanistan: Kabul remains calm as demonstrations failed to materialize following Friday's day of pray in the mosques throughout the city. Afghan, Coalition and United Nations intelligence feared further protests would be organized to punctuate fiery sermons from radical mullahs, but there were no reports of protests or violence in the city. The Afghan government's call for moderation, combined with an increased security presence and a night time curfew has prevented an escalation of violence. "The city has returned to normal," said a long time Western resident of Kabul. It is expected the curfew will be lifted over the weekend.
It was also a quiet day in southeastern Afghanistan. Afghan security forces have yet to launch an offensive to retake the police station in the Uruzgan province town of Chora. Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, who was recently thought to have been captured, has recently appeared on Al Jazeera television. Dadullah directly threatens Canadian and British forces, and again is trying to split the NATO alliance. Dadullah states the United States is the enemy, is manipulating the Western alliance, and offers NATO members a false out from the conflict:
"America now wants to avoid the heat of battle, so it pushes other countries towards it. Our operations may increase even more. Our advice to Canada and Britain is to refrain from defending the American propaganda, and from standing by this historic American crime. America wants to get other countries entangled in the crimes it committed in Afghanistan. Our advice to these countries is to avoid the heat of battle, because we will wreak vengeance upon them one by one, like we are doing with the Americans, if they remain here when the Americans are gone."
"Our main enemy is the United States. As for Canada and the other countries - we have no historical enmity with them. But if they want to come here as fighting forces, we will view them just as we view the Americans, and will conduct resistance against them. But if they return to where they came from, and withdraw their forces from here, we will not view them like the Americans, but as countries which we have nothing to do with."
Dadullah also expresses his affinity for al Qaeda, claims the Taliban has "Continuous Contacts" with Osama bin Laden, coordinates and trains with al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and commands large regions of southeastern Afghanistan. He also claims unnamed foreign governments, including non-Islamic nations are providing material support to the Taliban. These claims are not new, as the former Taliban Supreme Court Justice Salam claimed Russia and China, along with Afghanistan and Iran provided support to the Taliban back in 2003.
In Pakistan, Maulana Noor Mohammed, "a respected Muslim scholar, leader of the hardline religious party, Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam and member of Pakistan's national assembly," has openly declared his support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and calls on all Pakistanis to fight in Afghanistan. "Should we not support the Taliban movement because a mean [Pakistani President] General Musharraf is our ruler and he has turned the Pakistan Army into a US force which captured 600 Muslim Mujahids [Muslim warriors who fights to defend or expand Muslim lands] and handed them over to the US?" said Noor Mohammed.
Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam is one of six members of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) party, which rules the provincial governments in Pakistan's troubled border provinces of Balochistan and the Northwest Frontier Province, portions of which have become a defacto Taliban and al Qaeda safe haven.
"I have spoken to the MMA leadership and have asked for debate in the upcoming session of the MMA on announcing clear support for mujahadeen all over the world, including the Taliban," said Noor Mohammed. The MMA has long opposed the dismantling of the Taliban and the U.S. led fight against al Qaeda. The party has long been thought to be an al Qaeda and Taliban front, and Maulana Noor Mohammed's latest words reinforce this position. Pakistan is powerless to reign in such "militants," and the Taliban increases its foothold in the tribal regions.
Richard Fernandez from the Belmont Club and I discuss the Kabul riot and the situation in Afghanistan on podcast hosted by Pajamas Media.