- Information minister says Pakistan has some 'deep issues' including the expansion of Daesh as well as the issue of TTP that it has to discuss with Kabul
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that the visit of Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Faiz Hameed to Kabul was necessary as it was the only framework to communicate in the absence of a formal government.
In an interview with BBC World, aired as the Taliban announced the formation of an 'acting government', the information minister was asked about Hameed's visit to Kabul.
Fawad said that Lt General Hameed is not the first intelligence chief to visit Kabul, saying that the CIA, Turkish and Qatari intelligence chiefs were also in the Afghanistan capital before him. "In the absence of any formal government, such unconventional contacts are necessary for discussion on various issues," he said.
He further said that Pakistan has some deep issues with Afghanistan including the expansion of Daesh as well as the issue of TTP and the refugees, adding that Pakistan has to have an informal line of communication.
The information minister further said that he will not say Pakistan has no engagement with the Taliban, adding that it was this very engagement that enabled US-Taliban negotiations as well as the evacuation efforts.
"It was Pakistan's and Afghanistan's engagement that enabled the evacuation of thousands of people in Kabul," he said.
When asked to comment on the Taliban's announcement of an interim government, the information minister said "it would be premature to comment at this time". On Tuesday, the Taliban announced veteran Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as the leader of their new government, while giving key positions to some of the movement's top officials.
Chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be one of two deputy leaders, alongside Abdul Salam Hanafi, a member of the group's political office in Doha, Qatar.
Mullah Yaqoob, the son of the Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar, was named defence minister, while the position of the interior minister was given to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the feared Haqqani network who also doubled up as a Taliban deputy leader
Meanwhile, Fawad rejected Indian media reports that Pakistan helped the Taliban in the attack on Panjshir. "India created a fairytale and used a video game to demonstrate that Pakistan is helping the attack on Panjshir.
"When I see this in Afghanistan and some of the Indian media, I feel that we are some supernatural power and we can do everything we want," the minister added.