Tuesday July 23, 2024

TTP a matter Pakistan must take up: Taliban spokesman

By News Desk
August 29, 2021
TTP a matter Pakistan must take up: Taliban spokesman

ISLAMABAD: Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said that the issue of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is one that the Pakistan government must resolve, not Afghanistan.

Zabihullah Mujahid's remarks came during an interview with Geo News on programme "Jirga", aired on Saturday night. Show host Saleem Safi asked the spokesman if the Taliban will speak to the TTP to not engage in conflict with Pakistan. In response, Mujahid said: "The issue of the TTP is one that Pakistan will have to deal with, not Afghanistan. It is up to Pakistan, and Pakistani Ulema and religious figures, not the Taliban, to decide on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their war and to formulate a strategy in response."

When asked how soon people can expect the formation of a government in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that full-fledged efforts are currently underway in this regard, but that some minor obstacles are causing a delay.

"First of all, entering Kabul all of a sudden and taking over governance like this was unanticipated. We desire to hold wide-ranging talks regarding the formation of a government, so that a strong government can be formed," he said. Mujahid also indicated the Taliban's desire for an "end to war", and the "creation of such a system, with everyone's input, that represents the wishes of the people".

"We have made considerable progress in this regard, but work is still underway," he said.

"Discussions are being held on all aspects of a government," the spokesman said, adding that he hopes that the Taliban will be ready "within a few days" to make an announcement in this regard.

Mujahid noted that delay has caused hindrances in day-to-day operations and matters of trade and diplomacy, and so the Taliban have "engaged all their efforts in forming a government as soon as possible".

Regarding talks with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and former chief executive officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah, besides former vice presidents Yunus Qanuni and Abdul Rashid Dostum, the Taliban spokesman said that their advice is being taken. He said that the Taliban wish for those to be part of the government who have the support of the people and enjoy popularity and will avoid the inclusion of people who were at the centre of conflict in the past.

"We are consulting all leaders present in Kabul. We are in touch with them, and their recommendations are important to us," he added.

Mujahid said that the Taliban also wished for "new faces" to be part of the government. To a question on what each side has demanded of the other, the Taliban spokesman said that the group will move forward keeping in view the input given by the political leaders and will take measures in light of the same.

When Saleem Safi asked what the future holds for Rashid Dostum if the view is for the inclusion of only acceptable figures, Mujahid said: "The people who were part of the government in the last 20 years have worked for Afghanistan to some extent but do not enjoy the overwhelming support of the people."

"We wish to begin a new chapter and include people who do not only enjoy popular support, but are deserving of being the people's representatives. But this does not in any way mean that all the past leaders will be sidelined. We will routinely consult them and seek their advice," he told Jirga.