Wednesday August 10, 2022

Taliban won’t allow TTP to use Afghan soil against Pakistan, hopes Sheikh Rasheed

Sheikh Rasheed said he couldn't disclose to the media what Pakistan has discussed with the Taliban

By Web Desk
August 17, 2021
Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed
Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Tuesday expressed the hope that the Taliban will not allow the use of Afghan soil against Pakistan after taking control of the country.

Responding on Geo Pakistan to reports of the release of key TTP commanders from jails in Afghanistan, Sheikh Rasheed said that Pakistan has taken the Afghan Taliban on board over the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issue.

Maulana Faqir Mohammad, the former deputy chief of the TTP, was also released as the Taliban took hold of the capital on Sunday.

The interior minister said, "the outlawed TTP and Daesh militants are present in the mountainous ranges of Nooristan and Nighar."

"We have taken the Taliban on-board over the TTP issue and told them that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan and it hopes Afghanistan won't allow its soil to be used against Pakistan."

When pressed further, the minister said he couldn't disclose to the media what Pakistan has discussed with the Taliban.

"Previously, Pakistan was supporting the US due to which the TTP and the Taliban were on the same page. That is not the case now," he noted.

No refugee crisis

Responding to another question, the interior minister said Pakistan was not facing any refugee crisis or "load" on its border with Afghanistan, given the volatile situation in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan has completed 97-98% of the fencing around the Afghan border," said Rasheed, adding that the border has been fenced even around the most hostile of terrains. "Our troops are manning the security check-posts along the border as well."

The minister said that in the past, most of the migrants who slipped through the border to Pakistan were the Taliban or others who were frustrated with the Northern Alliance. He said that is not the case now.

Special visa cell

Rasheed said a special cell had been formed in the interior ministry which was functioning 24 hours, issuing visas on an emergency basis for international diplomats and journalists who are stranded in Afghanistan.

He said previously, granting a visa took a process of four months as authorities had to conduct a background check with various security agencies.

"Now all [security agencies] are sitting on one table," he said, adding that the process of granting a visa was much faster now.

The minister said Pakistan is conducting regular import and export trade along the Spin Boldak-Chaman border, adding that so far "everything is good".

"We are prepared for every eventuality," he said, however.

The interior minister said he would hold an important press conference tomorrow (Wednesday) to brief the nation about the government's border management plan.