Saturday October 16, 2021

Afghanistan looks to Pakistan for help as conflict with Taliban escalates

"We are hopeful Pakistan will help Afghanistan stop support to the Taliban and end their brutal campaign," says Afghan FM

July 09, 2021

Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, in an exclusive interview with Geo News that aired on Friday, said Kabul expects Pakistan to help it end the Taliban's "brutal campaign" and bring the group back to the negotiating table. 

"We are hopeful Pakistan will help Afghanistan disrupt the Taliban's supply and brutal campaign," said the Afghan minister.

When asked whether he thought the Afghan government had been betrayed by the US, the minister replied that it was the Taliban who had "deceived the whole world". 

"The Taliban did not fulfil their part of the deal and deceived the whole world," he said. "The Taliban are making a huge mistake. All of us have extended a hand of friendship towards them," he added. 

He said the Afghan government was calling upon the Taliban to honour the Doha peace deal, adding that Kabul had fulfilled its obligations of the deal when it came to the prisoners exchange and ensuring foreign troops leave the country. 

Al-Qaeda, Daesh and other elements fighting alongside Taliban

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Al Qaeda have joined forces with other terrorist elements and are fighting alongside the Taliban against the government of Afghanistan, said Atmer.

"We are monitoring links between the TTP, Taliban and Al Qaeda on a daily basis," said Atmer. "These ties certainly exist."

The Afghan foreign minister said these 'elements' were fighting against the "government and people of Afghanistan" alongside the Taliban in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Faryab and other provinces of the war-torn country.

Speaking about the militants, Atmar said the Afghan government has divided these groups of foreign fighters into three categories.

"The first among them are the [militant groups] that are fighting for a global agenda, such as Al Qaeda and Daesh," he said. "Al Qaeda and Daesh militants have been present in the region where Pakistan and Afghanistan are situated," he added.

Atmer said his government was aware of the locations in Pakistan and Afghanistan where Al Qaeda members were killed and arrested.

"Then, we have regional players," the Afghan minister said. "The TTP, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, ITIM, the Ansarullah and Jundullah are also fighting with them [Taliban]," he added.

"The entire region, not Afghanistan alone, is at threat from these groups," he stressed. "Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, India, Russia and the Middle East are in danger from these groups," he said.

Atmer said the government of Afghanistan spoke about regional cooperation as "there are no good or bad terrorists and they all are the same".

"Peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban will ensure these elements do not find a safe haven in Afghanistan," he added.