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'Taliban's First Home is Using Them to Influence Kabul': Former Afghan Intel Chief Slams Pakistan for Funding Terrorism

Afghan's former head of intelligence, Amrullah Saleh, said that Pakistan Air Force sometimes provides "special flights" to Taliban members to negotiate with US in Doha.


Updated:March 31, 2019, 11:17 AM IST
'Taliban's First Home is Using Them to Influence Kabul': Former Afghan Intel Chief Slams Pakistan for Funding Terrorism
Amrullah Saleh, former head of Afghanistan's intelligence service, holds a picture taken from a hotel's security cameras before a suicide attack (File photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: Claiming that Pakistan is "first home" to terrorists, Afghan vice presidential candidate and former head of intelligence, Amrullah Saleh, said that Islamabad is "using Taliban" to influence the situation in Afghanistan.

In an email interview with Hindustan Times, Saleh further said that Pakistan Air Force sometimes provides "special flights" to the members of the terror outfit to negotiate with US in Doha. "The Taliban leaders who run the negotiations in Doha fly there from Karachi or Islamabad," he was quoted as saying.

The former head of intelligence further said that Islamabad speaks to Kabul via Taliban and "they want to influence the situation through terrorism and violence". "This is a rotten policy which has widened the gulf of mistrust and it has deprived both countries from enormous economic opportunities," he added.

Saleh, who is contesting the election as a member of President Ashraf Ghani's team, also criticised the US/NATO policy with regards to "the Pakistan-based sanctuaries".

"The Taliban were defeated in Afghanistan, but they never came under pressure in their first home, which is Pakistan. There was and still is a flaw in the US/NATO policy in regards to the Pakistan based sanctuaries, all out support to Taliban by Pakistan army and lack of hard pursuit of terrorism within Pakistan. So we did our homework but Pakistan was paid for a job they never did and as President Trump once said they were all into fooling the world and seems they succeeded," he was quoted as saying.

The terror unleashed by Taliban continues to rock Kabul. Nine Afghan policemen were killed on Saturday in the eastern Afghanistan city of Ghazni when Taliban fighters stormed their checkpoints and launched an ambush. The outfit later attacked another area, killing nearly 30 people in both the incident.

Afghanistan's vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum escaped unhurt from an attack that killed one of his bodyguards. Two other of Dostum's bodyguards were wounded, Al Jazeera reported.

The attacks come as the United States seeks to broker a peace accord with the Taliban and the Kabul government, more than 17 years since the US-led invasion that ousted the Islamist fighters.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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