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Taliban Leader Dismisses Afghan Elections As 'Waste Of Time'


Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar (undated)

Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar (undated)

Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar has dismissed Afghanistan's presidential election next year as a "waste of time" and urged people not to vote.

The United States and its allies see the election scheduled for April as crucial for stability in Afghanistan after NATO-led troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

The participation of voters from the Pashtun ethnic group -- from whom the Taliban get much of their support -- is seen as essential to the success of the election.

In a statement released on August 6, Omar also said the Taliban were not seeking to monopolize power but to reach "understanding with the Afghans regarding an Afghan-inclusive government based on Islamic principles."

The statement was issued ahead of Eid celebrations due to begin on August 8 to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa
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