Taliban rejects Pakistan’s accusations, says 18 Pakistani fighters killed last year

File photo.

In response to Islamabad’s allegations, the Taliban has taken an unprecedented step, acknowledging the deaths of 18 Pakistani fighters linked to Daesh and the apprehension of numerous other Pakistani fighters in Afghanistan over the past year.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesperson, released a statement on Tuesday, confirming that these Pakistani militants were implicated in carrying out explosive attacks within Afghanistan and that there exists substantial evidence supporting this claim.

Addressing Pakistan’s accusations of planning attacks within its borders from Afghanistan, Mujahid emphasized that Islamabad should take responsibility for its own security lapses, stressing that the Taliban is not accountable for preventing or managing assaults within Pakistan.

Pakistan’s army chief, for the second time in a month, stated on Monday that some Afghanistan citizens are involved in activities detrimental to Pakistan’s security. In response to these assertions, Pakistan’s Minister of Human Rights commented that a misunderstanding exists between the two nations on this issue.

Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Pakistan’s Minister of Human Rights, stated: “Their (Taliban’s) defense minister has said that they won’t allow anyone to do something against Pakistan and it’s not jihad. So, I don’t think Afghanistan is that disloyal to Pakistan. I don’t accept that.”

Simultaneously, Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper reported that Islamabad is attempting to secure a decree from Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s leader, denouncing the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) activities as un-Islamic. Although the decree has purportedly been issued, it has yet to be made public.

Barna Salehi, an expert in international relations, cautioned: “If the Taliban and Pakistan do not address this issue promptly, the escalating tensions between the two factions could lead to a dire confrontation, proving detrimental to the Taliban’s interests.”

In response to Pakistan’s accusations, Mullah Yaqoob Mujahid, the Taliban’s acting defense minister, recently advised Taliban fighters that traveling to foreign countries to engage in conflict does not qualify as jihad but is rather warfare. He acknowledged that some within the Taliban still uphold a solitary focus on fighting.

The Taliban’s acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, emphasized the need for restraint within the Taliban’s conduct and stressed that the present moment is not conducive to warfare.