Taliban in a new statement has accused the United States of seeking a military presence in the region, “especially in Pakistan,” as part of its efforts to maintain surveillance in Afghanistan, warning that it will lead to “more bloodshed” in the country if it takes place.
The statement published on Friday says that the Doha agreement has been “repeatedly” violated by the US and that it has led to the continuation of violence in Afghanistan. The US has rejected claims on violation of the Doha agreement.
Taliban says that some media reports have said that the US will keep its presence along the Durand Line for surveillance using Pakistan’s territory and airspace. This will mean that the US will maintain its presence in Bagram and Shindand—bases in Afghanistan—and that if this happens, the Taliban “will continue their jihad” as in the past, the statement says.
The Taliban has asked Pakistan not to facilitate the continuation of “Afghanistan’s occupation;” otherwise, if it happened, it will be “a mistake” and a “big blunder” for Pakistan.
However, Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of allowing the US to operate a military base or conduct drone operations in Afghanistan from its soil.
On May 26, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told Pakistan’s Senate that there are no such arrangements with Washington, Islamabad’s longtime ally in the so-called war against terrorism.
The Pentagon this week insisted the US commitment to the region is not wavering.
“Just because we are removing our troops and ending our military mission in Afghanistan doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from the region,” Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby told reporters on May 24. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
According to an AP report, last week Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, said negotiations with Afghanistan’s neighbors for overflight rights and troop basing are “moving forward” but will take time.
On May 24, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Pakistan’s chief of Army staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. The Pentagon didn’t provide further information about what the two military leaders discussed, other than to say they talked about “shared regional interests and objectives.”
Courtesy: TOLO NEWS