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Taliban arrest four officials for removing Pak flag from aid trucks

By News Report
September 23, 2021
Taliban arrest four officials for removing Pak flag from aid trucks

KABUL: Taliban on Wednesday claimed to have arrested four border guards over removing Pakistan’s flag from aid trucks along the Torkham border in Afghanistan, according to Afghan media reports.

A day earlier, a video went viral on social media of Taliban officials removing a Pakistan flag attached to the side of an aid truck. The incident took place on Sunday.

In a bid to help Afghanistan’s government in tackling the humanitarian crisis, the Pakistan government had sent 17 aid trucks carrying 278 tonnes of edible items, including 65 tonnes of sugar, three tonnes of pulses, 190 tonnes of flour, 11 tonnes of cooking oil and 31 tonnes of rice. In a statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the entire cabinet of the Islamic Emirate was "saddened" by the incident.

"Surely, this incident must have hurt the sentiments of our neighbouring country for which we apologise," he said. The Taliban spokesperson said they wanted "good relations" with Pakistan.

"Officials involved in the incidents have been arrested and their weapons have been seized," he said, adding that they will be dealt with according to the law. Earlier on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had said the removal of the Pakistani flag hoisted on one of 17 aid trucks that brought relief goods to Afghanistan via the Torkham border is "regrettable" and that those responsible for such actions have been ordered arrested and their weapons seized.

Mujahid had said that all the Taliban leaders have expressed their regret in the matter, adding that they were all "saddened" to learn of something like this being done in response to aid trucks being sent. "We will put a stop to such incidents, going forward," he added.