The Taliban leaders followed the U.S. presidential debate closely and expressed displeasure at Republican candidate Donald Trump, whom they considered “non-serious.”
Taliban Spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said by telephone, on Wednesday, that the leaders watched Monday’s televised debate from a secret location in Afghanistan.
According to him, neither Trump nor Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton talked about their intentions for Afghanistan.
He added that they were not impressed.
Mr. Mujahid said further that the leaders also have harsh words for Trump, a political newcomer, who has attacked what he calls the failed policies of the Washington political classes.
He said that the Taliban leaders considered Trump a “non-serious” candidate who said “anything that comes to his tongue,” the spokesman said.
Mr. Mujahid said that the leaders advised that the next U.S. president should learn from the mistakes of their predecessors.
He said the Taliban leaders, questioned that “Why are the U.S. hated worldwide, it’s because of their aggressive policies.
“They invade other people’s countries and kill innocent human beings for their vested interests,’’ they said.
The election winner will have to decide future policy for what has been America’s longest war, started after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 triggered a U.S.-led campaign that toppled the Taliban government in Kabul.
President Barack Obama this year shelved plans to halve the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and instead has kept 8,400 troops there until the end of his presidency, leaving further decisions to his successor.
Mr. Mujahid said that they added that “Both Obama, in whose administration Clinton served as Secretary of State, and former President George W. Bush had wasted 15 years and billions of dollars without being able to defeat the Taliban.
“There is a choice for the upcoming president, whether he or she would like to suffer human and financial losses to continue their invasion of Afghanistan or they want to let the people of Afghanistan decide their affairs.
“If the new president doesn’t change policy, the Taliban will continue their armed struggle until they are expelled from Afghanistan,’’ they said.