01 October, 2020

'Shut Down Projects, Leave Afghanistan'

The new Taliban spokesmen peddle their version, claim that K. Suryanarayana confessed during interrogation that he was an American spy.

'Shut Down Projects, Leave Afghanistan'

Mohammad Hanif, 39, is one of the two spokesmen of the Taliban (the other is Qari Yousaf Ahmadi). A dispenser of medicines in Afghanistan's remote areas, severely lacking in qualified doctors, Hanif has come to be known as 'doctor'. He treated the mujahideen during their war against the Soviets, and joined the Taliban movement as soon as it was launched in Kandahar in the autumn of 1994. He and Qari were designated as spokesmen by the Taliban shura (council) a few months back, after their predecessors Ustad Mohammad Yasir and Latifullah Hakimi were captured in Pakistan. Both Dr Hanif and Qari are perpetually on the move, to evade arrest. But they do contact a select band of journalists almost daily, providing the Taliban's version of developments in Afghanistan and often doling out exaggerated claims of their battlefield achievements. Yet it helps the media get the other side of the messy Afghanistan picture. Rahimullah Yusufzai spoke in Pashto to Hanif over a satellite phone, though the latter refused to disclose his location. Excerpts from the...



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