TALKING to the reporters in Kabul the other day, Afghanistan’s Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid accused Pakistan of providing its airspace to the US drones to access Afghanistan.
Mujahid’s comments came less than a month after US President Joe Biden announced al-Zawahiri’s killing in a drone strike in Kabul.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, in a statement, strongly rejected the Taliban’s claim saying in the absence of any evidence, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct.
Taliban is already facing isolation and sanctions and it is only Pakistan and some other friendly countries such as China that are engaged with it in order to help address its economic and humanitarian issues.
Accusing Pakistan and that too without any evidence is something which will only hurt the bilateral relationship between the two countries – something Afghanistan cannot afford at this critical juncture.
If the Taliban had any suspicion that Pakistani airspace is being or was used against their country, then they should have firstly raised the matter diplomatically instead of coming in the open as such sensitive matters need to be addressed at the table of negotiations.
It is also for the Taliban to focus on the security of its borders as these are being used by terrorist elements for attacks inside Pakistan which has claimed the lives of our security personnel.
The Afghan government must fulfil its commitment of not allowing use of its territory against Pakistan.
As regards the Taliban’s condemnation of US deployment of drones in Afghanistan is concerned, we fully back it.
Afghanistan is a sovereign and independent country and this fact must be respected by all including the United States.
It is really unfortunate and regrettable that after bombing it to rubble, Washington has left Afghanistan at the mercy of volatile situation.
Instead of continuing with its flawed policies, it will be better for the US to lift sanctions on Afghanistan and help its government rebuild the lives of ordinary Afghans. This is the only way forward as prolonging the conflict will not be in anybody’s interest.