London: The Taliban have slammed "coward" Prince Harry for comparing the decade-long conflict in Afghanistan with computer games, saying that the British Royal "must have a mental problem". "It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful," Harry had said in an interview timed to coincide with his departure after a 20-week deployment in the war-torn country.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, said Prince Harry was a "coward" for speaking only after he was out of harm's way, The Telegraph reported. "He must have a mental problem for him to say that war is like a game," Mujahid was quoted by The Times as saying. "If you look at the (UK) economy, what they've spent, and the lives of the people they lost here, do you think that's a game?", Mujahid questioned.
"This statement is not even worth condemning. It is worse than that," he said by telephone from an undisclosed location. "To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone, especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things," the Taliban spokesman said. Mujahid said that Prince Harry was exaggerating the role he played while serving in Helmand province and might be just "big-noting" himself.
"His bodyguards were always making plans for his stay and to keep him away from fighting, in a safe zone. He was living like a diplomat not a soldier," Mujahid said. "He's a prince and he had a good lifestyle there and I don't think he can fight against the Mujahidin. Maybe he says all this to keep his family happy," he said.
A senior British commander in Helmand, where Prince Harry was based, said soldiers from dozens of countries were fighting in Afghanistan.
To describe their efforts and deaths as part of a game was to show a lack of respect, he said. "It's not a game. It's very, very real," he added.