KABUL – The Taliban have voiced strong concerns over the presence of US drones patrolling Afghan airspace, labeling it as a clear violation by the United States.
Acting deputy foreign minister for political affairs in Afghanistan, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, disclosed in an interview that officials from the Taliban administration had raised this issue during negotiations with American delegations, emphasizing the urgent need to halt the violation of Afghanistan’s airspace. He stated, “Yes, drones are patrolling in Afghanistan’s airspace, and we repeatedly raised this matter with them (the Americans) in meetings, and they have violated this agreement.”
Stanekzai referenced the Doha agreement, which outlines that after the withdrawal of US forces, the United States should maintain friendly relations with the new Islamic government of Afghanistan, contribute actively to the country’s reconstruction, and encourage other nations in this endeavor without interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Regarding concerns from Central Asian countries about the Qosh Tepa canal construction, Stanekzai reaffirmed that the canal is an indigenous project, and the Afghan government remains committed to its completion, asserting, “This canal is an Afghan project, and we will continue its construction.”
In addition, Stanekzai assured Afghan women and girls that the educational process would remain open, with the de facto administration dedicated to safeguarding their educational rights. He asserted, “As an Afghan, I can say that education will not be banned; it should not be banned, and this is the natural and religious right of girls.” Stanekzai clarified that schools and universities would admit girls once suitable conditions were established.
It is noteworthy that this marks the third consecutive year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, during which they have prohibited girls from attending schools and universities, despite repeated assurances of reopening these educational institutions. Concurrently, they have imposed bans on women working with domestic and international organizations and aid agencies, all amid a severe humanitarian crisis in the country.
Stanekzai also urged opponents of the Taliban to consider returning to the country and addressed Pakistan’s concerns about Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), emphasizing that Afghanistan has achieved comprehensive security after a prolonged conflict, and neighboring countries should refrain from linking their problems to Afghanistan.