AT News Report
KABUL: The Taliban group on Tuesday called presidential elections, slated for 28 September, as misleading and illegitimate, and warned to disrupt the process, calling on Afghan masses to stay away from gatherings of electoral campaigns and rallies.
In a statement, the Taliban said fighters should “stand against this theatrical and sham of a process to their full capabilities” — a clear instruction to conduct attacks.
“”To prevent losses, God forbid, from being incurred by our fellow compatriots, they must stay away from gatherings and rallies that could become potential targets,” a message posted on the Taliban’s website stated.
It furthered, “Our compatriots might remember that the supposed presidential elections were held twice in the year 2014. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent and the election process dragged on for months yet when the time for the final decision came, the US secretary of state of the time – John Kerry – arrived at Kabul and declared all votes null and void before picking two candidates of his own choosing to run the government.”
The Taliban threatened election just day after US Special Representative ZalmayKhalilzad said that his team and Taliban representatives will continue to discuss technical details as well as steps and mechanisms required for a successful implementation of the four-part agreement that they have been working toward since his appointment.
“I will travel to Delhi for pre-scheduled meetings to further build international consensus in support of the Afghan Peace Process,” he added.
He furthered; “Building on excellent progress in Kabul last week, I’ve spent the last few days in Doha, focused on the remaining issues in completing a potential deal with the Taliban that would allow for a conditions-based troop withdrawal. We have made excellent progress.”
At the same time violence acts across the country have been intensified, where only in Monday evening four people have been killed and 30 others, all of them civilians, received injures in a motorbike explosion in western Herat province.
Over the past months, Afghanistan has witnessed waves of terror attacks by the Taliban and Islamic State (IS). On Sunday, a bicycle bombing struck a bus carrying journalists of a local TV channel in Kabul, killing two people and injuring four others.