Pakistan welcomes Taliban’s desire to join CPEC


ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday welcomed the Taliban’s desire to become part of a multi-billion dollar project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Talking to the media, the minister termed CPEC jugular vein of the country, adding that the friendship between Pakistan and China is higher than the Himalayas.

He revealed that the elements involved in the recent suicide attacks in Gwadar and Mastung had come from Afghanistan. He said that the Afghans have assured that they will not allow their land to be used against Pakistan.

He reiterated that Pakistan desired peace and stability in Afghanistan as progress of both countries is interlinked.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban expressed on Monday that they sought the best of diplomatic and economic ties with China and Pakistan and want to become part of projects such as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and CASA1000.

Addressing a press conference, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also talked about a recent visit of a Pakistani delegation led by DG ISI General Faiza Hameed.

He said that the delegation put forward their concerns.

He said that Pakistan’s concerns are valid and assured to address them. He reiterated that the Afghan land will not be allowed to be used against Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan has also given the assurance of its complete cooperation for peace and stability in the country.

He also urged international community to reopen their embassies in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, adding that the country has the right to be recongnised by the world.

The Taliban spokesman announced that they have taken control of last holdout of Panjshir province.

He said that the group resorted to using power in Pajnshir after efforts to resolve the issue through dialogue and Jirga failed.

Announcing general amnesty for people of Panjshir, Mujahid said: “Our people do not want war anymore”.

He said there will be a complete ban on keeping weapons and aerial firing in Afghanistan.

Talking about resumption of operations at Kabul airport, he said that Turkey, Qatar and an organization of Middle East country are helping Afghanistan make the airport operationalized.

He further said that national traders and businessmen have assured to resume business activities.

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