PESHAWAR: Senior members of the Afghan Taliban said they recently sent delegations to some regional countries to address their apprehensions about foreign militant factions in Afghanistan. They said they assured the regional countries that the Taliban would not allow foreign fighters to use their soil against any country.
According to Taliban sources, their top leadership had given a task to the Qatar-based political office headed by Sheikh Abdul Hakeem to immediately make contacts with some of the countries including China, Iran, Russia and some Central Asian republics to assure them that they would not support militants belonging to these counties or provide them any assistance to carry out militant activities in their respective states.
"Some of the countries, including Russia, China and Iran, had some reservations about their own militants presently hiding in Afghanistan. We have signed an agreement with the United States that we would not allow foreign militants to use our soil against any other country, particularly the US and its allies," a senior Taliban leader told The News.
Pleading anonymity, he said Taliban delegations visited Russia, Iran and some Central Asian countries and assured them that they should not worry about their security from Afghanistan when they came to power.
"The Chinese were particularly concerned about the Uyghur militants. We sent a letter to the Chinese embassy and explained to them that they should not worry about the Uyghur militants. Let me admit that we have militants from China, Russia, Iran, Central Asian, Arab world and Pakistan but these militants would not be allowed to continue their armed struggle against their respective countries in Afghanistan," he said.
The Taliban leader said they would not ask the foreign fighters to leave their country as they came to them as refugees, but would not let them exploit their hospitality and create issues for them.
According to the Taliban, they would not allow these foreign militants to run separate militant groups or activities in Afghanistan or send fighters to their respective countries and carry out attacks.
A Taliban commander in Afghanistan's Ghazni province said they had hundreds of foreign militants from many countries but they were not allowed to go back to their countries and undertake militant activities.
"We had even assured Pakistan about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants and Baloch nationalist leaders in Afghanistan and assured them that they wouldn't be able to use the Afghanistan soil against Pakistan," he said.
According to Taliban, they were not happy with treatment of some non-Muslim countries with Muslims living there but rather encouraging militant activities, they would prefer to raise their voice against such countries and expose them at world forums.