Former Afghan MP and district governor defects to the Taleban
KABUL (AFP) - A former Afghan lawmaker and district governor said on Thursday he had defected to the Taleban as the Islamist hardliners seek to strengthen their influence before United States-led combat troops withdraw next year.
Government officials confirmed that Mr Qazi Abdul Hai had joined the rebels, but dismissed him as a low-level figure whose actions would have little impact.
"I am sure the Americans will be forced out soon and the Islamic Emirate will rule Afghanistan," Mr Hai said, using the formal name of the Taleban, in a video released on the group's website.
"I consulted with elders, and they all encouraged me to join."