Afghan Defense Minister’s sarcastic remakes were rejected by Pakistan

Pakistan is the only country, which understands the Afghanistan issue comprehensively. As we are neighbor, shares similar language, culture, religion, history, and traditions. It is natural to develop each other’s understandings in depth. Pakistan is the worst victim of unrest in Afghanistan for almost four decades. Pakistan’s sufferings and sacrifices for Afghanistan are much more than any other country on the earth.

Pakistan has been always promoting the Afghan issue in the international community and advocating for Afghanistan on almost all important platforms. Pakistan has been extending its full support including political, diplomatic, economic, humanitarian and etc. Pakistan believes in and struggled for an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led, and permanent solution to this issue. Pakistan never intervened in any other country’s internal affairs and imposed its will on others.

Pakistan believes in the comprehensive sovereignty of Afghanistan and respects the people of Afghanistan. Our relations are based on brotherhood, good neighborhoods, and based on equality, and mutual respect.

However the recent statement from Afghan Defense Minister, Mullah Muhammad Yaqoob, in a press conference bluntly accusing Pakistan of allowing its airspace for US drone strikes in Afghanistan, and warning against it, has surprised the whole nation.

Pakistan has noted, with deep concern, the allegation by the Acting Defense Minister of Afghanistan regarding the use of Pakistan’s air space in the U.S. counter-terrorism drone operation in Afghanistan.

In the absence of any evidence, as acknowledged by the Afghan Minister himself, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct.

Pakistan reaffirms its belief in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states and condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

We urge the Afghan interim authorities to ensure the fulfillment of international commitments made by Afghanistan not to allow the use of its territory for terrorism against any country.

It is to be noted that before 2015, Mullah Yaqoob did not even have an official position among the Taliban. However, experts say the prestige of being Mullah Omar’s eldest son elevated his standing among the Taliban’s field commanders and its rank and file. He transpired to be an uninspiring personality, who has failed to appeal to the ranks and file in the new Afghan setup. As a matter of fact, he has resorted to discourses against Pakistan to gain attention and support from the Indian and Western-inspired Afghan circles.

There are several fault lines visible within the Taliban with tensions between Mullah Yaqoob and the Haqqanis controlling Kabul at present. There is friction between Haqqani Taliban and Kandhar faction just as there are differences between the Pashtun and Non-Pashtun tribes.

Mullah Yaqoob wanted to bring military elements into the cabinet rather than political elements being pushed by Mullah Baradar. Mullah Yaqoob, who is also the head of the military commission and deputy leader, has openly said that those living in the luxury of Doha cannot dictate terms to those involved in Askari jihad against the US-led occupation forces. He has been consolidating his power since his father Mullah Omar’s death was revealed in July 2015. His ambition to control the Taliban factions including Haqqani seems to come true in coming years for the following reasons other than his pro-US and Pro-Indian inclination: –

        Mullah Yaqoob is popular among the battlefield commanders and so they are willing to accept his leadership.

        Yaqoob had close ties to commanders in the country’s north, which helped consolidate his military control.

        Yaqoob is known to have links to Saudi Arabia, which supports the peace deal and is believed to be funneling money to him to help him consolidate power (since Mullah Omer’s death became public, Mullah Yaqoob has been controlling the Taliban’s vast income streams).

         Mullah Yaqoob is believed to have ties with the former government of Afghanistan and the intelligence service. Haqqanis are considered to have a soft view of Pakistan, while Yaqoob favors the peace process with the US and rapprochement with India. Yaqoob’s rise, therefore, seems like good news for Washington and India.

        Reportedly, Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar had issues with the Haqqani Group founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, which gives rise to speculation that Mullah Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, disclosed Zawahiri’s location to US authorities during his recent visit to Qatar.

        Yaqoob’s primary responsibility is security, which he described as “100% OK,” though the later revelation that al-Qaida’s leader was living in the center of Kabul cast the statement in a different light.

        There are speculations about the Taliban having trust deficit vis-à-vis Mullah Yaqoob as the leader. There are strong feelings among the Taliban that Mullah Yaqoob provided intelligence information about Al-Zawahiri to the US when he met them in early July this year. The reason quoted behind this is that perhaps Mullah Yaqoob wanted to glorify his status over Haqqanis within TTA and in the eyes of the US and allies.

        The possibility cannot be ruled out that Mullah Yaqoob following his father’s footsteps provided shelter to Al-Zawahiri in a Taliban-secured area and later on belittled Haqqanis and shared information about the Al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts.    

        Despite his elevated positions, Mullah Yaqoob is not believed to be widely admired among the militant group or its followers.

        Reportedly many Afghan intelligence officials described Mullah Yaqoob as a shrewd young man who is self-centered.

        There are also reservations that someone like Mullah Yaqoob who was raised outside his homeland during the Afghan war can be well conversant with the realities of Afghanistan.

It is believed that his efforts to damage Pakistan-Afghanistan relations will never succeed. His ill designs and evil motives will never be materialized. The brotherhood between the two Muslim neighbors will remain unchanged and ensure the stability and prosperity of the whole region.

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  1. We sincerely thank our old friends for their concern and support. It’s a great honor to receive your wechat and email. The friendship between Pakistan and China lasts for a long time. We should work hard and dedicate ourselves to safeguarding world peace. The research and development of the Silk Route Economic Research will benefit the people of the countries and regions in the framework of th Belt and Road initiative. We are willing to participate in and work hard for it.

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