Taliban lash out at Afghan-US security accord

Kabul, Oct 14 (IANS) Taliban militants, who have been fighting the Afghan government and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, have lashed out at the proposed security accord between Kabul and Washington, vowing to continue jihad or holy war till the foreign forces are evicted from the war-ravaged country.

"The invaders and their allies should understand that inking strategic agreement would be accompanied by dire consequences," Xinhua quoted Taliban's elusive chief Mullah Mohammad Omar as stating in a message posted on the outfit's website on the eve of Eid-ul Adha.

The Eid-ul Adha festival will be celebrated by Muslims across the world Tuesday.

Omar, who has eluded the US's biggest military manhunt in the region over the past 12 years, in the message also warned that the people of Afghanistan would not accept any strategic agreement even if it got rubber stamped by "a fake Loya Jirga".

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US Secretary of State John Kerry, after a 26-hour intense discussion here, announced at a joint press conference Saturday night that differences over inking a security arrangement, known as the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), have been narrowed.

The Afghan president revealed a couple of weeks ago that he would convene the traditional Loya Jirga or grand assembly of tribal chieftains, notables and government functionaries, probably within a month to take a final decision on the security agreement.

The controversial security accord, if inked, would facilitate the US to keep a limited number of its troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 when the NATO-led forces would leave the conflict-ridden country.

"No foreign military base is acceptable to Afghans," Mullah Omar added in his statement, warning that having military bases would intensify armed jihad against foreigners in Afghanistan.

The US reportedly would have nine bases in Afghanistan if the BSA is inked.

In his message, the Taliban leader also denounced the forthcoming presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan set for April 5, 2014, as a "drama of occupying forces" and called on Afghans to boycott the electoral process.