Night letters threaten Loya Jirga participants with death
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The Taliban have warned residents of several districts in southern Ghazni province with death in "night letters" if they participated in the November 16 Loya Jirga on a strategic partnership agreement between Afghanistan and the US, residents said on Thursday.
But local officials say the letters were a propaganda aimed at creating fear among residents. They said the warning would have no impact on the Jirga which is scheduled to take place in Kabul, with attendees discussing the proposed US-Afghanistan strategic deal and a mechanism for peace talks with the rebels.
Ghazni council chief, Abdul Wali Khanzada, said he had not personally seen the letters, but people told him that the leaflets had been thrown in mosques in Gilan, Mugar, Ab Band, Qarabagh, Andar and Deh Yak districts.
Participants of the Jirga had been warned with death in the letters. However, he said the warning would not prevent people from attending the event. He said 27 people from Ghazni would take part in the Jirga.
A copy of the letters was received by Pajhwok correspondent in Qarabagh district. The letter condemns the establishment of the proposed permanent US military bases in Afghanistan, calling the bases a permanent occupation of the country.
It says the Jirga is being attended by supporters of the government, not real public representatives. It warns participants would risk their lives and the Taliban would make every efforts to find and punish them. It asks people to show their brotherhood with the Taliban by staying away from the Jirga.
Reports said the letters were distributed to people in some district in broad daylight.
A resident of Qarabagh district, Abdul Mateen, said two armed men riding a motorcycle arrived in the village and threw the letters in mosque two days before the Eid. He said the gunmen distributed the letters in all villages.
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