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Monday, May 20, 2024  
11 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Signed Doha pact with US, not Pakistan, say Afghan Taliban after Asif’s accusations

Zabiullah Mujahid reiterates Afghanistan soil is not used against Pakistan
A combination of file photos of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. AFP/File
A combination of file photos of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. AFP/File

The interim rulers of Afghanistan signed the Doha agreement with the United States, not Pakistan, Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Saturday. His reaction came after Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s accusations pertaining to the use of Afghan soil by militants for cross border terrorism.

“We have signed the Doha agreement with America,” Mujahid told BBC Pashto in an interview. He reiterated that Afghanistan’s territory “is not used against Pakistan and Pakistan is a brother and Muslim country” and the interim government treated the neighbouring country in that way.

He was asked about Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s accusations that the Afghan Taliban was not abiding by the Doha agreement signed three years, which included four parts.

Part of the pact says: “guarantees to prevent the use of Afghan soil by any international terrorist groups or individuals against the security of the United States and its allies.”

Earlier in the day, Asif said that Afghanistan has become a safe haven for the terrorists involved in the killings of innocent Pakistani citizens. His reaction came a day after the army voiced concerns over the “sanctuaries” of the outlawed TTP in Afghanistan.

He tweeted that Afghanistan was not “holding to its promises” made in the Doha Agreement. The defence minister went on to add that Pakistan has been hosting around six million Afghan refugees for the last five decades while the terrorists were allegedly offered hideouts in the neighbouring country.

“This situation cannot continue any longer. Pakistan will use all its resources to protect its land and citizens, God willing,” he said.

But Mujahid reiterated that the interim government would take steps if the Pakistani government shares evidence with him. Over the past many months, both sides have held many meetings where the foreign ministry has reiterated concerns.

Pakistan and the US have time after time asked the Afghan Taliban to not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan as “a launch pad for attacks on Pakistan”.

On Friday, the Pakistan army expressed concerns about the “safe havens and liberty of action” available to the outlawed terrorist group TTP in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“The involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan is another important concern that needs to be addressed,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations in a statement. “Such attacks are intolerable and would elicit [an] effective response from the security forces of Pakistan.”

The defence minister and military’s statement was in reaction to two terrorist attacks against the Pakistani security forces in Balochistan on July 12. At least 12 soldiers were martyred.

In the past, the Pakistani government claimed that they had talks with the ideological twin of Afghan Taliban – banned TTP – to end militancy. But they ended because of unconstitutional demands of the outlawed group.

The Afghan Taliban spokesman claimed that representatives of the banned TTP came from North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for talks. But the talks have become fruitless and the mediation of the talks has also ended, he added.

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terror attacks in Pakistan

Inter Services Public Relations