Fri, Jun 23, 2017 | updated 05:32 AM IST

Mullah Omar's close aide asks Taliban chief to cut ties with Pak

Updated: Oct 23, 2016 13:56 IST      
Mullah Omar's close aide asks Taliban chief to cut ties with Pak

Kabul [Afghanistan], Oct. 23 (ANI): A key Taliban commander and close aide to former Taliban founder and leader Mullah Omar has asked the group's present chief Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada to break all ties with Pakistan.

The top Taliban leader, Syed Mohammad Tayyab Agha, reportedly in a letter asked Akhundzada to cut ties with Pakistan, reports Khaama Press.

"How can the Taliban leadership, now camped in Pakistan, demand that people in Afghanistan or elsewhere pledge allegiance to them?" he wrote, confirming that the insurgent movement's leaders still operate from safe havens in Pakistan. "Can we consider such acts in accordance with Islam?"

Agha, who relinquished his position as head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar last year, has sharply questioned key Taliban ideological tenets.

In the letter, he also urges Akhundzada to give up the title of Amir al-Muminin or Leader of The Faithful and to drop the Taliban's formal name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

"It will be better to employ the term 'movement' instead of 'emirate'," he wrote, arguing that without either control over most of the country including Kabul or recognition as a legitimate government it is impossible for the Taliban to pose as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

"A reliance on media propaganda and forming [shadow] government institutions, control of rural territories, and most of the movement's leadership being in a foreign country [Pakistan] doesn't amount to a [legitimate] government in our country," he wrote.

"Instead of Amir al-Muminin, you should call yourself The Amir or leader."

Questioning the Taliban's current strategy, which mainly relies on overrunning rural territories and complex urban attacks that often result in a high number of civilian casualties, Agha urged Akhundzada, "You should give up using violence and intimidation to force people to pledge their allegiance to you as the commander of the faithful until you can meet all the requirements [outlined in Islamic Shari'a law]."

"All the mujahedin fighters should be ordered to cease killing our opponents inside mosques and stop killing prisoners. Stop killing people under suspicion traveling on roads. Stop bombing bridges, roads, and other similar places. Stop killing aid and construction workers who are helping our nation and building our homeland," he wrote.

This comes as first contact after the breakdown of talks backed by Islamabad between Kabul and the Taliban in May. A three-member delegation from the Taliban's Qatar office is currently in Pakistan to meet authorities over talks linked to the Afghan peace process.

The visit comes days after Taliban leaders reportedly held informal meetings with Afghan and the US officials in Qatar. (ANI)

Death toll in car bombing outside New Kabul Bank rises to 34

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 05:20 IST     

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 23 (ANI): The death toll in a suicide attack outside New Kabul Bank branch in Afghanistan's Lashkargah has risen to 34.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], June 23 (ANI): Four conservative Republican senators have announced that they will not vote for the current version of GOP bill repealing ObamaCare.

Full Story >>

May vows to let EU citizens stay in UK after Brexit

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 02:48 IST     

London [UK], June 23 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May has told the European Union (EU) leaders that the EU citizens, who had arrived lawfully before the Brexit, would be given a new 'settled status' allowing them to stay in Britain if they have lived here five years.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], June 23 (ANI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has termed the attempts to exert pressure on Moscow through sanctions as 'pointless'.

Full Story >>

I did not record Comey conversations: Trump

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 00:24 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump has said that he does not have any tapes or recording of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.

Full Story >>

Pakistan becomes full signatory of 'Washington Accord'

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 22:51 IST     

Lahore [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Pakistan on Wednesday became a full signatory of the Washington Accord that facilitates mobility of engineering graduates and professionals at the international level.

Full Story >>

Trump asks why Obama admin didn't stop Russia from meddling

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 21:47 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): As U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday decried allegations of Russia collusion "a big hoax," he sardonically questioned why the Obama administration did not stop Moscow from election meddling as it happened under the previous regime.

Full Story >>

Drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty: Nafees Zakaria

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 21:20 IST     

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said that drone strikes are against Pakistan's sovereignty.

Full Story >>

Rawalpindi [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Alleged Indian spy and former Indian Naval Officer Kulbushan Jadhav has forwarded a mercy petition to Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa against his death sentence awarded by a military court on charges of espionage, the Pakistan armed forces information wing has claimed.

Full Story >>

Rawalpindi [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Alleged Indian spy and former Indian naval Officer Kulbushan Jadhav has forwarded a mercy petition to Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa against his death sentence awarded by a military court on charges of espionage, the Pakistan armed forces information wing has claimed.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): India and Australia will soon ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between the Indian Ministry of Textiles and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday gave its approval for signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between Ministry of AYUSH the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): WikiLeaks on Thursday released documents disclosing information about United States' Intelligence service Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) 'Brutal Kangaroo' programme, which allows it to remotely and covertly gain access to closed computer networks or a single air-gapped device.

Full Story >>

Vienna[Austria]/New York[U.S.A.]/Geneva [Switzerland], June 22 (ANI): In 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, around 29.5 million people - or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population - were engaged in problematic use and suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has said that terrorist "safe havens" are inside, not outside, Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

Congressional Black Caucus declines Trump's invitation

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 15:07 IST     

New York [U.S.], June 22 (ANI) :The Congressional Black Caucus has declined an invitation for a follow-up meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, terming his administration's policies and proposals as detrimental to all black Americans and their constituencies.

Full Story >>

24 killed in Car Bomb attack at New Kabul Bank in Afghanistan

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 14:31 IST     

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 22 (ANI): As many as 24 people were killed and 60 others wounded when the militants launched a suicide attack on New Kabul Bank branch in Lashkargah, capital of Helmand province on Thursday. The intense fighting is still going on between the security forces and militants.

Full Story >>

Suicide attack at New Kabul Bank in Afghanistan's Helmand

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:50 IST     

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 22 (ANI) :Militants launched a suicide attack on New Kabul Bank branch in Lashkargh, capital of Helmand province on Thursday. The intense fighting is going on between the security forces and militants.

Full Story >>

Australia to resume bombing of ISIS targets in Syria

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:30 IST     

London [U.K], June22 (ANI): Australia will resume air combat missions against Islamic State targets in Syria after the Australian Defence Force lifted a temporary suspension initially sparked by Russian threats to shoot down coalition planes.

Full Story >>

Gulf crisis: Turkey sends First shipment of aid to Qatar

Updated: Jun 22, 2017 12:26 IST     

Ankara [Turkey], June 22 (ANI):Turkish economic minister Nihat Zeybekci said that the first Turkish ship carrying aid to Qatar has departed in a bid to break the embargo imposed on Doha by a number of Gulf countries.

Full Story >>