• Taliban sends strong message to India-Pakistan; fight among yourselves, don’t use Afghanistan

    International

    Kabul: Taliban leader Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanekzai said that the Taliban wants good relations with all its neighbours, including India, but should not use Afghanistan in its internal dispute with Pakistan. This was the first statement of the Taliban’s top hierarchy on the issue since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

    Speaking exclusively in an interview with CNN, Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanekzai, acting foreign minister of the Taliban, said that India and Pakistan may continue to fight among themselves on the border, “They should not use Afghanistan for this and we will not let any country use our land for this,” he added.

    On being asked in the interview, that if the Taliban will team up with Pakistan to target India, Stanikzai said that whatever comes up in the media is not true. “There is no such statement or indication from our side”, he said.

    “We attach great importance to our trade, economic and political relations with India and want to maintain that relationship. We also need to keep the air trade open,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistani media outlet Independent Urdu.

    The Taliban leader was referring to the air corridor between India and Afghanistan that was established to boost trade between the two countries given, Pakistan”s denial to allow transit access. Stanekzai also described India as an ‘important country’ in the region. Without elaborating, he said Afghanistan’s trade with India through Pakistan is “very important”.

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