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Taliban Spokesman Appreciates Pakistan’s International Support of Afghanistan

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid

Zabihullah Mujahid reiterates that Taliban regime desires friendly relations with all nations to facilitate trade and economy

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Sunday appreciated the Government of Pakistan for supporting Afghanistan globally through its calls to remain engaged with the new regime to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

“Pakistan is our neighboring country and Afghanistan is thankful for Pakistan’s stance [on it],” he told state broadcaster PTV in an interview, adding that Kabul desired positive relations with all nations, as it wants to expand trade and economic ties globally.

“We hope that our neighboring countries will continue to extend support to Afghanistan internationally,” said Mujahid, who also serves as the acting deputy information minister of the country. He noted approvingly that several countries had raised their voices “in favor” of the new Taliban government at various international for a, and in conversations with U.S. representatives.

Among the countries that had adopted a positive stance toward Afghanistan, he said, were Qatar and Uzbekistan. He said that China and Russia had also urged the international community to support Afghanistan during their addresses to the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

Pakistan has repeatedly urged the global community to not repeat the mistakes of the past, stressing that it should remain engaged with the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a haven for terror groups. In multiple interviews, Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that a massive humanitarian crisis looms if the world does not provide aid and funds to Afghanistan at this “critical” juncture.

Bilateral trade

On Panjshir—which had remained the last holdout to Taliban rule until earlier this month—Mujahid claimed that there was no more war in the region, adding that “we [Taliban] do not desire war with anybody.” Rather than conflict, he said, it was time for the Afghan nation for work for the progress and prosperity of Afghanistan.

Once peace in Afghanistan is solidified, he maintained, the interim government would shift to prioritizing trade with other countries. In this regard, he warned, that action would be taken against any group that stages attacks in Afghanistan or tries to fight the Taliban regime.

Since the Taliban have assumed control of Kabul, there have been growing concerns about the Islamic State Khorasan (I.S.-K), which has accused the group of collaboration with the U.S. and vowed to continue its resistance. In August, a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport that left over 180 people dead was claimed by the militants.

During his interview, Mujahid backed Islamabad’s regional connectivity desires, saying that Afghanistan would be connected by road to Peshawar and various other cities of Pakistan.

To a question, he said the desecration of the Pakistani flag at the Afghan border was an “unfortunate” incident and assured PTV that action would be taken against anybody who sought to damage relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

To another question, he said the Taliban leadership would be willing to “consider” any Pakistani invitation for an official tour if it were offered.

Referring to the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the spokesman reiterated that the Afghan government condemned all human rights violations in India-held Kashmir. The Afghan government would continue to provide diplomatic and political support to oppressed Muslims globally, he added.

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