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‘Pakistan will pay 'very heavy price' if it continues to support Taliban’

ASIA
By Agencies | July 2nd 2021

Afghanistan's First Vice president Amurullah Saleh has warned Pakistan of could pay a heavy price if they continue to support the Taliban.

"Pakistan-as a host of the Taliban since the group's foundation -could play a significant role in the peace process, and therefore become a reliable partner of the Afghan nation," Saleh said.

According to a recent UN report, at least a dozen different militant groups are active in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, with at least 6,500 Pakistani nationals reportedly involved.

This comes in the middle of a surge of violence in Afghanistan with frequent clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces amid US troop withdrawal.

According to the UN report, Pakistan-based jihadi groups such as Jaish-i-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) continue to fight alongside Taliban groups against Afghan national forces.

Afghan vice president also expressed that the price of supporting Taliban will be very high and said the situation has changed "not only us but the voices of conscience in Pakistan parliament strongly condemn the killings of Afghans at the hands of the Taliban" the daily reported.

Saleh believes all the countries except Pakistan want to have good relations with the country, local media reported.

Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed recently admitted that families of Afghan Taliban live in his country, including in the capital city of Islamabad and that sometimes the members of the militant outfit are treated in local hospitals.

"Taliban families live in Pakistan, in Rawat, Loi Ber, Bara Kahuh and Tarnol," Rashid told local media citing the names of Islamabad suburbs.

"Sometimes bodies of their fighters arrive and sometimes they come here in hospitals to get medical treatment," he added.

Islamabad has been accused of aiding the Taliban and using them as proxies for its own benefit. However, it continues to deny its connection to the terrorist group despite mounting evidence.

John Bolton, the former White House National Security Adviser also accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban for the last two decades.

"If the Taliban seizes the power in Afghanistan, it will also be a threat to Pakistan as the extremist pressure on the Pakistani government will increase," Bolton warned Pakistan.

Afghan Vice President said the recent trip to Washington by an Afghanistan was highly productive. Afghanistani President, Ashraf Ghani, along with the first vice president Amrullah Saleh, Hamdullah Mohib (National Security Advisor) Mohammad Hanif Atmar (Minister of Foreign Affairs) Adela Raz (Afghan Representative in UN) Shahrzad Akbar (Human Rights Commission Head) and the two female members of Afghanistan negotiating team Fatima Gailani and Habiba Sarabi joined the delegation.

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