Karzai says Taliban not a threat to Afghan Govt | india | Hindustan Times
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Karzai says Taliban not a threat to Afghan Govt

The Afghan President also called fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar a coward.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 00:43 IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday called fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar a coward and denied that the resurgent militia was a threat to his government.

In an interview with CNN television, Karzai also called on Pakistan to step up cooperation in the war on terror.

Karzai spoke with the "Late Edition" programme following the release of an audiotape by a Pakistani television channel purported to be Mulla Omar. In it, Omar claimed that Taliban fighters controlled much of Afghanistan and that international forces could not solve Afghanistan's problems.

The Afghan leader said his that if Omar is "really in charge" then "he should show himself up and face the danger that he is causing to hundreds of people, young people in Afghanistan and in Pakistan and not hide the way he's hiding right now.

"It needs guts to do what he is talking about, and he doesn't have that. He only goes about and sends young people to death." Asked whether he was calling Omar a coward, Karzai said "definitely".

"He has no opinions in the sense that I'm sure he is not even aware as to what's going on in Afghanistan. I'm sure he's hidden somewhere in a guest house, wherever he is."

The Taliban leader has not been seen since his hardline militia were toppled by a US-led attack in late 2001, following the September 11 attacks. The Taliban have been waging an insurgency in southern Afghanistan that has claimed a growing number of lives of international coalition soldiers.