Kabul terms Sana remarks on TTP hideouts baseless

Rana Sanaullah

The Afghan Taliban administration on Sunday rejected Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s remarks pertaining to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) hideouts in Afghanistan, calling them “provocative” and “baseless”.

In an interview with private TV last week, Sanaullah had said that Pakistan may target TTP militants in Afghanistan if authorities in Kabul did not take any action against them.

“Afghanistan is our brotherly country and we will first talk to them to dismantle the TTP hideouts and hand over the group’s members to Pakistan,” the interior minister had said.

In case of inaction by the Afghan authorities, Sanaullah had warned that “the international laws give you the right to target those who attack you”.

Sanaullah passed these remarks while talking about the decisions taken in the first round of the National Security Meeting — the principal decision-making forum on foreign policy and national security — which took place on Friday. It had decided to response with “full force” to those who challenged the country.

“There was an understanding in the NSC’s meeting that there is no other option but to opt for a clearance operation,” he had said.

The Afghan National Defense Ministry on Sunday issued a statement, saying that it “views the Pakistan interior minister’s (Sanaullah) statement about the presence of TTP in Afghanistan and possible attack as provocative and baseless.”

It claimed that there was “proof” of TTP bases in Afghanistn and such “claims by Pakistani officials harm good relations between two brotherly neighbouring countries”.

“Afghanistan calls for resolution of every concern through understanding,” the statement added.

It also said that Afghanistan was “ready to defend its territorial integrity and independence” and knew how to defend the country