External Affairs

Pakistan’s Helped Taliban Return to Afghanistan, Says Envoy

Taliban is now in the middle of a face-off with ISIS for control of the region. Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: The Taliban could not have returned to Afghanistan “without help from within Pakistan”, the Afghan envoy to Pakistan said, and urged Islamabad to join hands with India to bring peace to his war-torn country.

Omar Zakhilwal said that peace would prevail in Afghanistan if Pakistan and India joined hands and lauded both the countries for their efforts in trying to keep the peace in 2002, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The Afghan envoy to Pakistan raised questions on the efforts for peace in the region, saying although there were a number of processes in place for keeping peace, “there is a question mark on how effective these measures are.”

He held Pakistan responsible for the Taliban’s return to Pakistan, saying, “The Taliban could not have returned to Afghanistan without help from within Pakistan.”

He said this in his address at an international conference in Afghanistan yesterday, days after a cross-border attack near the Chaman border point.

Ten Pakistani civilians were killed, while more than 40 people, including women and children, were injured in a firing by Afghan forces on Pakistani census workers and the troops escorting them at border villages in Balochistan on May 5. The Pakistani army had claimed that it has killed over 50 Afghan soldiers in the retaliatory attack.

Zakhilwal said: “Taliban have the hidden support of some countries, while there are also questions about the peace keeping efforts from Russia.”

He also said that “help from Iran and Saudi Arabia will go a long way.”

Speaking about the new terror threats faced by Afghanistan, he said that ISIS, a rising threat in the region, is currently engaged in an ongoing tussle with the Afghan Taliban for regional dominance.