Afghanistan summons Pakistani envoy over Punjabi Taliban leader’s remarks



ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has summoned a senior Pakistani diplomat over remarks made by the Punjabi Taliban leader, in which the leader stated that his group has stopped militancy in Pakistan, but will continue its operations in Afghanistan, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muaweya, in a video message, announced to renounce violence in Pakistan, adding the focus on fighting will now be on Afghanistan. He also said his group will focus on preaching in Pakistan.

“Pakistani Charge d’Affaires Syed Muazzam Shah was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Sunday, and a strong protest was lodged over the declaration of war made by the Punjabi Taliban on the Afghan side of the Durand Line,” a Ministry’s statement said. The Dari-language statement was also emailed to The Express Tribune.

Abdul Samad Samad, head of political affairs in the Afghan foreign ministry, condemned the threats made by Muaweya, and described his remarks as “clear conspiracies against the stability and security of Afghanistan.”

“Such statements are against international laws and principles of good neighbourly relations,” the statement quoted the Afghan official as telling the Pakistani envoy.

He said that many “Pakistani militants were killed or arrested” during recent clashes in various parts of the country.

Samad said the use of terrorism as a political tool is not in the interest of any nation, adding that the announcement by the Punjabi Taliban leader could increase the “killing of innocent people in Afghanistan.”

“The Pakistani charge d’affaires promised to convey the concerns of the Afghan government to the concerned Pakistani officials,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.


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