Islamabad: Former Afghan Prime Minister and Chief of Hizb-e-Islami, Engineer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has criticized the Taliban policy to briefly take and vacate cities for “propaganda purposes.”

Remarks by Hekmatyar, whose whereabouts have been unknown since 2001, came after hundreds of Taliban fighters overrun the strategically northern city of Kunduz on September 28. The NATO-trained Afghan forces had fled as the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the city.

The Afghan troops claimed retaking Kunduz after the American fighter jets rained bombs to pave the way for them to enter the city. The situation is still unclear as Taliban have now adopted the hit-and-run tactics. "Time is not ripe to take cities and it should be done at an appropriate time. This is a big mistake to overrun cities only for propaganda purpose and to vacate them later,” Hekmatyar said.

 “This act provides an opportunity for corrupts and looters to resort to loot the houses of the people and on the other hand to the government forces and their cruel supporters to opt for revenge that only suffers general public,” the HIA chief said. Hekmatyar in a statement issued on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the American invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 said a series of recent bloody events in Kunduz have proved that the Northern Alliance has “committed serious crimes” in Kunduz over the past few days.

 “The Americans have also carried out unprecedented brutal bombings similar to what both had done when they had taken Kabul in 2001. American fighter jets twice rained bombs and rockets on a hospital, killing and injuring over 60 people, including doctors, nurses and patients.”

 The HIA chief said the government forces had fled Kunduz and later the American air strikes paved the way for them to enter the city. “The gov't troops later looted houses under the pretext of door-to-door search of their opponents.” Hekmatyar, who belongs to Kunduz, claimed that the fall of the northern city into the hands of the Taliban was an “intelligence plot” as the U.S. wanted to change its decision on the withdrawal of troop from Afghanistan by such a plan.

"I strongly believe the Kunduz fall was planned by intelligence circles. The Northern Alliance was assigned to flee without resistance and they were advised to seek U.S. air support to retake the city,” he said and referred to the speeches delivered by Dr Abdullah Abdullah in New York and Washington, at the time of the Kunduz debacle. Abdullah, Afghanistan Chief Executive was at the United Nations when the Taliban overrun Kunduz.

“Abdullah used his speeches to demand the US to reconsider its decision of troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan because the Afghan forces are not capable to defend the country,” the HIA chief said. According to Hekmatyar, the US-led NATO has failed in Afghanistan and they must leave. "This is a certain reality that NATO has faced a defeat in Afghanistan and they have no other option but to quit.  The Kabul regime is shaken and will collapse with the withdrawal of the foreign troops. The Americans cannot find out an alternative to this corrupt and hated regime either through fraudulent election or any other way."

Taliban also issued a statement to mark the anniversary, asking the U.S. to “let the Afghans themselves choose their own fate and the destination of their country by withdrawing your forces completely.” “This is the same sound pathway which was proposed to you by the Islamic Emirate fourteen years earlier and it once again reiterates it to you on the 14th anniversary of your invasion of Afghanistan,” the Taliban said.