The Taliban on Saturday strongly denied that their chief Mullah Omer had written any letter to the White House demanding immediate shifting of five former Taliban officials out of Guantanamo Bay military prison.
In a message, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said linking the letter to Mullah Omer was a rumor spread by US officials and “we strongly reject it”.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not begging from someone, rather we believe that with the help of Allah we would prevail against the enemy,” he added, saying that such rumors were continuation of the enemy’s attempt to create confusion and concerns. “It is useless to expect that Afghans would bow before any force of the enemy. All know that Mullah Omer would never bow and such rumors can only cause the US to rejoice, nothing else,” he said.
Mujahid said such tactics had never worked in the last 10 years. Foreign media had reported that amid the peace bid, the White House received purported letter from the Taliban chief.
“As we have engaged various interlocutors as part of the reconciliation process, we have received a variety of messages that were represented as being from senior members of the Taliban, however, we haven’t received a letter that we are certain is from Mulah Omer ” an administration official was quoted as saying by the media reports. The message reportedly expressed the impatience over the White House delay in shifting the prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban kicked-off talks with the US in Qatar just a week before the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan was held in Germany last year. Taliban were initially avoiding comments on the talks but later on they accepted that they were holding talks for opening their political office in Qatar and their demand for releasing certain prisoners. As part of confidence building measures, the US was considering to shift the prisoners to Qatar.