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‘Afghanistan backing Taliban enemy’

world Updated: Aug 05, 2012 23:27 IST

Reuters
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Pakistan's interior minister has said elements of the Afghan government are likely supporting a senior Pakistani Taliban leader who is fighting to topple the Islamabad government, accusations which could further raise tensions over cross-border raids by militants.

Pakistani officials say the Taliban commander known as Fazlullah has been orchestrating raids on Pakistani security forces from Afghanistan, where he fled several years ago after a Pakistani army offensive against his stronghold in the Swat Valley.

Pakistan has repeatedly called on Afghanistan to hunt down Fazlullah, whose fighters cross the border in their hundreds, set up ambushes and attack army checkpoints.

"If somebody is living in somebody's house and you ask him 'who is giving you food, who is giving you all this shelter?' You know he is in Afghanistan," Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters in a weekend interview.

"I think some of the elements (of the Afghan government) there are supporters. Maybe state actors, maybe non-state actors."

Afghan officials see Pakistan's suggestion that Afghans are supporting cross-border attacks as an attempt to distract attention from what they say is Pakistan's long history of supporting Afghanistan's Taliban movement and other insurgent factions.