Taliban Tells Pak Defence Minister, ISI Chief

Taliban Tells Pak Defence Minister, ISI Chief

Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Last Updated: February 25, 2023, 10:53 IST

Pakistan defence minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, ISI chief Nadeem Ahmed Anjum meet Taliban leader and Afghanistan acting deputy PM Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (Image: @MJalal0093/Twitter)

The Taliban leadership said they can only facilitate peace talks between the TTP and Pakistan government but need ‘concrete evidence’ to hold them accountable

Pakistan defence minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Nadeem Ahmed Anjum led a delegation to Afghanistan earlier this week where they met the Taliban leaders.

During their meeting with Taliban leaders, the Pakistani delegation handed a dossier to the members of the Afghanistan interim government where they held the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) responsible for the rising number of terrorist attacks on security personnel in cities and areas adjoining the Afghanistan border.

The delegation pointed out the recent attacks on Karachi police headquarters and the recent blast at a mosque in Peshawar.

However, people familiar with the developments told CNN-News18 that the Taliban delegation led by Afghanistan’s first deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, categorically denied the concerns raised in the dossier.

The Taliban delegation said they cannot hold the TTP accountable until Pakistan presents ‘concrete’ evidence of TTP’s involvement in these terror attacks.

The Taliban delegation consisted of Afghanistan’s defence minister Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi along with Baradar.

It should be noted however that the TTP in a statement claimed responsibility for the assault on the police headquarters of Pakistan’s largest city on February 17.

The attack on the Karachi police headquarters led to the death of three officers and one civilian and injured 18 others.

The people mentioned above also said that bitter words were exchanged between ISI chief Anjum and the Taliban delegation when the latter called for ‘concrete evidence’ against the TTP.

When Anjum said that Pakistan can take action against TTP anywhere, defence minister Mujahid warned him against threatening the Taliban leadership.

Mujahid said the “world knows what happened to the Americans.”

“We can facilitate peace talks between Islamabad and TTP, but cannot take action as TTP is our only alliance partner,” the Taliban said.

However, the meeting ended with both sides agreeing that political and security issues should not affect trade and economic matters between the two neighbours and issues related to security must be dealt with separately.

The Pakistan foreign office in a statement also said: “Matters relating to the growing threat of terrorsim in the region, particularly by TTP and ISKP came under discussion. The two sides agreed to collaborate to effectively address the threat of terrorism posed by various entities and organisations.”

Pakistan special envoy for Afghanistan Mohammed Sadeq, and Pakistan ambassador to Afghanistan Abdulruhman Nizami were also part of the delegation that met Taliban officials.

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