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Afghan Taliban term Pakistan's statements 'provocative', seek better ties

Zabiullah Mujahid says it is also responsibility of Pakistani side to try controlling situation

By Web Desk
January 03, 2023
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid (left) participates in a press conference at the government media and information center in Kabul, on November 10, 2021. — AFP/File
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid (left) participates in a press conference at the government media and information center in Kabul, on November 10, 2021. — AFP/File

The Afghan Taliban Tuesday termed recent statements from Pakistan's officials about terrorists' hideouts in Kabul as "provocative" and asked Islamabad to "control" the situation on its side as well.

In a statement, Taliban chief spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said the interim government was trying its best to ensure that Afghan soil is not used against Pakistan or any other country.

The statement came after the National Security Committee (NSC) asked the government in Kabul — without naming it — not to provide sanctuaries to Pakistani terrorist groups on its soil.

Pakistan has witnessed a sharp rise in terror incidents, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, during the past couple of months after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) declared to end the ceasefire with Pakistan.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had earlier, in an interview with a Pakistani news channel, said: "Islamabad may target the TTP in Afghanistan if Kabul does not take action to dismantle them".

In response, Mujahid said it is also the responsibility of the Pakistani side to try to control the situation and avoid issuing baseless and provocative statements.

Such statements and an atmosphere of mistrust are not in the interest of any party, the spokesperson claimed.

The Afghanistan government does not only give importance to peace and stability inside the country, but in the entire region, the Taliban spokesperson said and vowed that his country would continue its efforts in this regard.

He also added that the Taliban desired better relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan, and believed in all the resources and means that could help them meet the goal.

Terrorism to be dealt with 'full force'

The NSC had on Monday decided that no country will be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists, and Pakistan reserves all rights to safeguard its people.

The forum also reiterated its resolve to have zero tolerance for terrorism in Pakistan and reaffirmed its determination to take on any and all entities that resort to violence.

“This [terrorism] will be dealt with the full force of the state. Pakistan’s security is uncompromisable and the full writ of the state will be maintained on every inch of the territory,” the committee decided.

The forum underscored that comprehensive "national security" revolves around economic security and that sovereignty or dignity comes under stress without self-sufficiency and economic independence.

The committee was also apprised of the security situation of the country with a particular focus on recent terror incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Reaction over Sanaullah’s TTP statement

Last week, in response to Sanaullah’s statement about targeting TTP hideouts inside Afghanistan, the interim Taliban government said that it would not allow anyone to attack the Islamic Emirate and asked Pakistan to share its reservations with Kabul.

The spokesperson went on to say that Afghanistan wants to have good relations with Pakistan and that its officials should use caution when speaking.

"No country has the right to attack another nation's territory. There is no legislation in the world that permits such a transgression. If anyone has any worries, they should share them with the Islamic Emirate since it has sufficient forces and can take action,” Mujahid added.

Sanaullah had said that when the problems of terror attacks arise, the government first asks Afghanistan, "our brotherly Islamic nation, to eliminate their hideouts and hand over those individuals to us, but if that doesn't happen then what you mentioned is possible".

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also hinted at direct action against militants if the Afghan government fails to rein in the TTP.