May 19, 2024

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‘They Are Normal Civilians’, Says Imran Khan As Pakistan Continues To Aid Taliban

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In a shocking statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Taliban is not some military outfit, but ‘normal civilians’

In a shocking statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Taliban is not some military outfit, but ‘normal civilians’. In an interview, Khan questioned how Pakistan was supposed to hunt down the Taliban as it hosts three million Afghan refugees, the majority of whom are Pashtuns, the same ethnic group as the Taliban fighters. Imran Khan’s statement comes amid a raging war between the Taliban and Afghanistan government forces. Khan has also denied claims regarding alleged Taliban safe havens on Pakistan’s soil and has repeatedly shifted his argument towards the three million refugees in the country. 

‘Taliban are normal civilians’: Imran Khan 

“Now, there are camps of 500,000 people; there are camps of 100,000 people. And Taliban are not some military outfits, they are normal civilians. And if there are some civilians in these camps, how is Pakistan supposed to hunt these people down? How can you call them sanctuaries?” Khan argued.

“Where are these safe-havens? There are three million refugees in Pakistan who are the same ethnic group as the Taliban…”

Pakistan continues to support Taliban, Al Qaeda 

Imran Khan’s statement also comes at a time when Afghanistan is in a tussle with Pakistan as the former has repeatedly accused it of aiding the Taliban. Pakistan has been accused of aiding the Taliban and its affiliates militarily, financially and with intelligence inputs in their fight against the Afghanistan government. However, Khan has dismissed the allegations as ‘extremely unfair’. In addition, he also claimed that thousands of Pakistanis lost their lives in the aftermath of the US war in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan had nothing to do with what happened” on September 11, 2001, in New York said Imran Khan 

However, Pakistan and its army continue to provide a safe haven to the insurgent groups and their affiliates. As per reports, the Taliban has stepped up its attack in the Nangarhar Province and captured some security check posts in border districts of Achin and Pacher wa Agam. It is believed that the insurgent group is making gains with assistance from Pakistan’s army. Among other areas where increased Taliban attacks have been reported include Hesarak, Sherzad, Pacher wa Agam, Deh Bala (Hska Mina), Achin, and Surkhrod Districts. 

Moreover, in the wake of rising casualties among the Taliban and its affiliates, including Al-Qaeda, a number of injured terrorists have been moved to Quetta city where they are receiving medical treatment in the Jailani Hospital. Similarly, some terrorists injured in clashes with Afghan security forces in the Spin Boldak area were also admitted to the DHQ Hospital in the Chaman district. In addition, some Afghan Taliban fighters were also brought to Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar for medical treatment. 

‘6,000 Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists operating on Afghan soil’: Report 

As per a report prepared for the UN Security Council, about 6,000 terrorists of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are operating on the Afghan side of the border. The TTP which follows anti-Pakistan objectives also supports its Afghan counterparts inside Afghanistan against Afghan Forces, the report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said.

Situation in Afghanistan 

The security situation in Spin Boldak remains turbulent as both sides have claimed to control the district. Afghan security officials have claimed to have killed Deputy Commander of the Taliban in Spin Boldak, Mullah Mujahid Nizami, and Commander of the Taliban Red Brigade, Hafiz Saidq. They have stated that the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Special Forces conducted an operation on July 26 in Surkh Rod District of Nangarhar Province killing the Taliban and injuring 6 others. 

In a security meeting during his visit to Nangarhar Province on July 22, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and other government authorities had decided to form a security belt around Jalalabad city to fight and push the Taliban. In addition, the Daikundi-based Shia cleric, Ayatullah Wahizada issued a fatwa motivating people to raise arms against the insurgent groups. 

As per the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Report (Jan-July 2021) that was released on July 26, there have been 5,198 civilian casualties (1,659 dead and 3,524 wounded). The report has stated that there has been a 47 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2020, including a doubling of female casualties. The figures after the commencement of the US/NATO withdrawal (May and June 2021) were 783 dead and 1,609 wounded, the highest ever for these months since UNAMA started documenting civilian casualties in 2009. However, the Taliban has rejected the report’s findings as “biased”. 

With agency inputs NEWS Rtv

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