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No Major Issues with Pak, Won’t Allow Terror Acts from Afghan Soil: Mullah Yaqoob | News18 Global Exclusive

By: Manoj Gupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: June 02, 2022, 12:37 IST

Mullah Yaqoob also called upon other nations, particularly America, to drop all bitterness towards Afghanistan and form cordial relations. File pic/Twitter

Mullah Yaqoob also called upon other nations, particularly America, to drop all bitterness towards Afghanistan and form cordial relations. File pic/Twitter

Responding to a UN report stating that LeT and JeM have terror camps in parts of his country, the Afghan defence minister said he had no information on this

Tensions have been running high at the borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan even as the two countries attempt to defuse the situation. The nearly 2,400km Durand Line has been a perpetual flashpoint between the two sides, especially after Pakistan started erecting fences there.

However, speaking to CNN-News18 in a global exclusive interview, Afghanistan’s defence minister Mullah Yaqoob maintained that things are not as bad as they seem.

“Our relations with Pakistan on the Durand Line and on a regional basis are political in nature. Inshallah, our relations are good and there are no major issues between us. On the issue of boundaries, I would mention that both countries are separate and issues are bound to come up as is evident with other countries. However, these incidents are not serious enough to cause a disruption in our relations. We have made efforts to resolve the issues which come up between us through talks,” he said.

The Durand Line passes through the present-day Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Balochistan. It also includes 10 provinces in Afghanistan.

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The shadow of terror has not left Afghanistan and has remained a constant source of concern for countries like India as well as the United States and others.

Mullah Yaqoob, however, attempted to assuage those worries, saying his country will not allow its soil to be used to perpetrate terrorism in other nations.

“Our relations with al-Qaeda broke when America started its attack on Afghanistan and there is no new association with al-Qaeda. They went to Arab countries and brought revolutions there and established themselves there. It is mentioned that after the signing of the Doha agreement with America it is our national and sincere responsibility to honour the pact, which clearly states that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against America and its coalition. Therefore, we are dutybound to implement it in letter and spirit and lay emphasis on it. Now we have put a check on it and America has also acknowledged it,” he said.

The defence minister also called upon other nations, particularly the United States, to drop all bitterness towards Afghanistan and form cordial relations.

“The 20 years of our animosity should be transformed into new thought and synergy. We are making efforts and are ready to have economic, political and other new relations in all spheres with America. There is no problem with this. America should also not create hurdles or pose challenges before the new government of Afghanistan. We hope that they refrain from it and initiate multi-faceted relations with the Afghan people,” he said.

As far as Daesh (ISIS) is concerned, he said, it is crushed in Afghanistan and has no physical presence here.

“Though, it could be that they would have secretly moved to a few places. It is also possible that similarly, they are present in other countries. We are on the task to end the Daesh threat not only in Afghanistan but also in other countries that would emanate from Afghanistan. We are working on it and have largely been successful in this. I assure the countries of the world and the neighbouring countries that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against other countries by Daesh and we are earnestly working in this regard. We hope that there would not be any difficulties in this,” said the minister.

A United Nations report recently stated that Pakistan-based terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, led by 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, maintain their training camps in some provinces of Afghanistan and some of them are directly under the Taliban control.

Responding to this, Mullah Yaqoob said, “I do not have any information and details on JeM, LeT or any other groups or organisations. But I say that it is our request that any issues between India and Pakistan be resolved through talks and dialogues. I must say on Afghanistan that the present government of Afghanistan does not want the Afghanistan soil to be used against any other country. I must clarify that under any circumstances, we will not allow Pakistan to use Afghanistan’s soil against India and we will not allow India to use Afghanistan’s soil against Pakistan. We want cordial relations with both countries and do not want to interfere or get involved in the issues of the two countries. We are an independent country and our foreign policy is guided by our national interests.”

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first published:June 02, 2022, 11:39 IST
last updated:June 02, 2022, 12:37 IST