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Pakistan shuts hospital doors on Afghan Taliban

KABUL: Pakistan has directed its hospitals not to treat injured Afghan Taliban militants, sources say.

Some sources say Pakistan stopped treating Afghan militants in response to a call from President Ashraf Ghani, but others say the development came following a bloody Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar eight months ago.

Few months ago, President Ghani in a letter had asked Pakistan authorities to take practical steps for advancing the Afghan peace process and had demanded a halt to treatment of injured militants in Pakistani hospitals.

A source close to the Taliban, wishing anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Pakistani officials had directed leading hospitals to avoid treating Afghan militants.

He said about 30 injured Taliban militants had been ousted from a major Pakistani hospital alone and denied treatment following the instructions.

Another 80 injured militants had been denied treatment in other Pakistani hospitals, the Taliban source said. These hospitals included Al-Khair, Sangin, Emad and Sajjad operating in Quetta and Peshawar, the source added.

But another Taliban source said the Pakistani government had stopped treatment of Afghan Taliban after the Army Public School (APS) attack eight months ago. He said dozens of injured Taliban militants had been expelled so far from Pakistani hospitals since the attack.

He said Pakistan wanted to seek credit for the move and please President Ghani. Besides Quetta and Peshawar, Taliban militants would previously receive treatment in Karachi’s Liaqat National Hospital, Agha Khan hospital, Memon and Patel hospitals.

A hospital run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the political arm of the banned Lashkar-i-Taiba militant group, would exclusively treat injured Afghan militants, but that hospital too had stopped doing so, the source said.

Currently Taliban militants have rented buildings in Pakistan and they use to rent medical equipment and invited doctors to these buildings for treating their injured colleagues, the source said. (PAN)

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