While violence has increased to its worst level since 2001, neither side has managed to break the strategic stalemate and gain a clear advantage, leading many to call for talks to end the conflict and bring the Taliban into peaceful politics.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said this week he had asked the king of
But Karzai's plea appeared to have fallen on deaf ears and was rejected by a senior Taliban leader.
"We reject an offer for negotiation by the Afghan's puppet and slave President Hamid Karzai," Mullah Brother told Reuters by satellite telephone from an undisclosed location.
He said Karzai had no right to negotiate. "He only says and does what he is told by
The harsh rhetoric against Karzai is a departure from recent Taliban statements which have taken a softer line on the pro-Western president who has led
It also appears to reverse a statement by Brother in March in which he said the Taliban could cooperate with Karzai's government and called for a negotiated ending to the fighting.
Brother served as a top military commander while the Taliban were in power in
He repeated the Taliban's war aim of fighting till the more than 70,000