Pakistan controlling Taliban, fighting will end in Afghanistan if Islamabad wishes: Afghan Army chief

Afghan army chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi. File Pic
Afghan army chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi. File Pic

Accusing Pakistan of controlling Afghan Taliban, Afghanistan’s Army Chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi said the fighting in his country would end in weeks if Islamabad tells Taliban to end militancy.

Islamabad, July 3/Nationalturk – In what may further strain ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghanistan’s Army Chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi has accused Pakistan of controlling Afghan Taliban and said the fighting in country would end in weeks if Islamabad tells Taliban to end militancy.

“Pakistan controls Afghan Taliban. It has provided shelter to Taliban leaders,” Karimi told BBC’s Hardtalk programme.

Afghanistan has been repeatedly accusing Pakistan of providing shelter, arms and money to Taliban. The charge has been denied by Pakistan, which was one of the Taliban’s main supporters from its launch in 1994 until the 2001 fall of the regime.

Karimi said if Pakistan puts pressure on Taliban leadership or convinces them to end militancy, the fighting in Afghanistan will end in weeks.

“Yes, it will be done in weeks,” he said.

Pakistan officials recently said that Taliban and Afghanistan government should share the power. This contention was rejected by Afghanistan government.

‘Taliban unleashed on Afghanistan’

Karimi alleged madrassas (religious schools) have been closed in Pakistan and all the Taliban have been unleashed to Afghanistan.

Urging Pakistan to do more to promote a nascent peace process in the region, he said, “Now Pakistan is suffering internally from terrorists as much as we do. We can both do together to fight this menace provided that (everyone is) sincere in what they are doing”.

Referring to US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal area, Karimi said US has not started the drone attacks on their own. “Islamabad had given the list of militants it wants taken out”.

“The drones are used against those Taliban who are Pakistani Taliban. The drones are never used against Haqqani or Afghan Taliban,” he said, in reference to one of the most feared Afghan insurgent groups.

‘Peace can return if US, Pakistan desires’

Afghan Army chief said peace can return to Afghanistan if US and Pakistan both have desire of peace. “Peace is in the hands of the US and Pakistan,” he added.

US is pushing for peace talks with the Taliban as Nato combat troops continue to withdraw from Afghanistan – a process due to be completed next year.

Last month the Taliban opened their first official overseas office in the Qatari capital, Doha – the first step ahead of the expected peace talks.

US and Afghan leaders want the Taliban to join the Afghan government as a result of the peace process.

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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News


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