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