- Interior minister says Pakistan continuing to facilitate evacuation process in Kabul as US troops withdraw
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the Afghan Taliban have assured Islamabad that the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) will not be allowed to use Afghanistan soil against Pakistan.
While talking about the release of TTP leaders Maulvi Faqir Mohammed and others during a press conference on Monday, Rashid said that Pakistan is in touch with the Afghan Taliban who have assured that the Afghan soil will not be allowed to be used by TTP.
The minister added that Pakistan has also granted visas to 4,000 people, including members of the Afghanistan cricket team. He said since Pakistan started the evacuation process, 853 people have been allowed to enter Pakistan through the Torkham border, while more than 1,200 including American nationals and Afghans have also immigrated.
He said the interior ministry will strive to facilitate the people from Afghanistan and if there is a need, it will also grant more visas. But, he said, people are expecting Pakistan to gather people in Afghanistan and bring them to Kabul airport.
"However, that is not the interior ministry's responsibility. We are only responsible for people till the Torkham border," Rashid maintained. He said many countries had also sought Pakistan's permission to allow them to park their aircraft and Pakistan has no problem regarding it.
Last week, outgoing Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had said that the issue of the use of Afghan soil by the TTP for terrorist activities in Pakistan was raised with the previous Afghan government. "We will continue raising the issue with the future Afghan government as well to ensure that TTP is not provided any space in Afghanistan to operate against Pakistan," added Chaudhri.
"We hope that once the new government is formed in Afghanistan, it will take strict measures to ensure that their soil is not used against other countries."
The TTP, believed to be hiding in bordering areas of Afghanistan, continue to attack Pakistani security forces. The outlawed militant group claimed responsibility for the recent attack in Tirah Valley of Khyber district in which two FC personnel lost their lives, besides releasing a video featuring training of its militants in an undisclosed hilly area while urging militant outfits to join their ranks.
The Afghan Taliban, who have claimed control over a major part of Afghanistan, recently asked Pakistan to hold talks with the TTP in response to Pakistan’s request to take action against the outlawed organisation.