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Taliban diplomat confirms fatwa against attacking Pakistan

AT News

KABUL – In a recent statement, Hafiz Mohibullah Shakir, the Acting Consul General at the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar, reaffirmed that the Islamic Emirate, or the Taliban administration, had issued a fatwa explicitly declaring that attacking Pakistan is not considered jihad or holy war. This declaration comes as a significant development in the ongoing diplomatic discussions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Shakir pointed out that Afghanistan’s defense ministry had made it clear that attacking Pakistan did not align with the principles of jihad. These statements are expected to reduce tensions between the two neighboring nations.

Pakistan has long expressed concerns about Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists finding safe havens in Afghanistan and launching attacks on Pakistani soil. Since the Afghan Taliban assumed power in 2021, Pakistan has witnessed an increase in terror incidents, with 2023 being the deadliest year in eight years. Afghan nationals have also been implicated in attacks on Pakistani security forces.

Pakistan’s special representative on Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, highlighted that TTP’s attacks along the border have intensified, with the group taking shelter on Afghan territory. In response to Pakistan’s concerns, the interim Afghan government recently arrested around 200 suspected militants involved in attacks on Pakistan, according to Voice of America.

Diplomatic efforts are underway to address the challenges facing regional peace and stability. Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and his Taliban counterpart, Amir Khan Muttaqi, met at an international conference hosted by China earlier this month. They emphasized the need for collaborative strategies to address these challenges.

Shakir also clarified that TTP militants had migrated to Afghanistan during the tenure of the former US-backed Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani (2014-2021), who was subsequently overthrown by the Taliban. He assured that no attacks would be launched from Afghanistan on Pakistan.

Regarding the Pakistani government’s decision to have Afghan refugees leave the country by November 1, Shakir expressed understanding but suggested that an appropriate method should be adopted for their return. He added that arrangements have been made to facilitate the refugees’ return to Afghanistan, acknowledging that the transition might be challenging for them.

In recent weeks, Pakistan has directed all “aliens,” including 1.73 million Afghan nationals, to leave the country due to concerns about security, particularly in light of terrorist attacks involving Afghan nationals. The United Nations has urged that Afghan refugees in Pakistan be allowed to exit voluntarily, without any coercion.

The United States has also encouraged Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, including Pakistan, to provide refuge to Afghans seeking protection and to uphold their obligations in the treatment of refugees, reinforcing the importance of regional cooperation in addressing this humanitarian crisis.

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