Afghan warlord brands Prince Harry as "jackal"

LONDON Wed Jan 2, 2013 1:36pm GMT

Britain's Prince Harry gestures after passing the Apache helicopter flight line at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan September 7, 2012. REUTER/John Stillwell/POOL

Credit: Reuters

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - An Afghan insurgent warlord branded Prince Harry on Wednesday as a shameless, drunken "jackal" out to kill innocent Afghans while on duty as an attack helicopter pilot for NATO forces in the country.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister who leads one of Afghanistan's main militant factions, told the Daily Telegraph in an interview that Queen Elizabeth's 28-year-old grandson was a relic of the colonial past.

"It seems that some British authorities still dream about the times of the 18th and 19th century and they want their ambassador to be treated like a viceroy and their prince to go out in uniform to hunt for human beings and play the Satanic role that they used to play in the past," Hekmatyar said in translated comments.

He said Britain had gained nothing by entering an "unjustified, useless but cruel conflict" to please its ally, the United States, speaking in a recorded video response to questions put by the paper.

"The British prince comes to Afghanistan to kill innocent Afghans while he is drunk. He wants to hunt down Mujahideen with his helicopter rockets without any shame.

"But he does not understand this simple fact that the hunting of Afghan lions and eagles is not that easy. Jackals cannot hunt lions," Hekmatyar added.

Britain's Ministry of Defence dismissed his remarks. "It is nonsense to suggest that any British pilot would be drunk in charge of their aircraft," a ministry spokesman said.

Hekmatyar made the recording in an undisclosed location, the Daily Telegraph said. He left Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and his whereabouts have been unclear since then.

The U.S. State Department lists Hekmatyar as a "terrorist" for supporting attacks by Islamist Taliban and al Qaeda insurgents, althought he became a hero to many Afghans while leading mujahideen fighters against the Soviet occupation of the Central Asian country in the 1980s.

His Hizb-i-Islami group, which means Islamic Party, shares some of the Afghan Taliban's anti-foreigner, anti-government aims, and seeks to oust international coalition forces.

The prince, a serving British Army helicopter pilot, has worked hard to distance himself from his youthful playboy image, undertaking charity work and formal royal visits.

But those efforts were undermined when he was photographed cavorting naked with a nude young woman at a Las Vegas hotel in August, prompting headlines around the world shortly before he returned for a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

After his deployment the Taliban said they would do all they could to kill or kidnap the prince. He was present but unharmed when Taliban insurgents attacked the Camp Bastion military base in Helmand province in September, killing two U.S. marines.

Britain is due to withdraw nearly all its 9,000 soldiers from Afghanistan when the NATO mission finishes in late 2014.

(Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Is ‘ginger’ not in the Taliban vocab yet?

“Britain is due to withdraw nearly all its 9,000 soldiers from Afghanistan when the NATO mission finishes in late 2014.”

So therefore the words ‘treading water’ in 2013/14 is an apt description of the situation, all at the cost of a further 6.5-7 billion pounds to the UK economy.

Absolutely pointless…

Jan 02, 2013 1:20pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
finchley wrote:
In a couple of years’ time, Iran and Pakistan can cut Afghanistan in two and the world will be a better place. Any refugee seeking shelter outside those areas can choose Iran or Pakistan.

That area is a failed area and will always be so.

Jan 02, 2013 8:27pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Pull out now and save the bloody economy first!

If nothing else the 6 billion in projected savings could pay for a far better border protection service in employing UK border agents, regular/special police units, tax/fraud inspectors and MI5/6 agents to actually protect this nation first, and not the Land Where Time Forgot and its inhabitants!

Could someone in this present UK govt just get a bloody grip on the madness of it all.

Jan 02, 2013 9:34pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.