'Taliban want to free their country': SP leader faces flak for remarks
- Barq made the comments while interacting with reporters on Monday, a day after the Taliban captured the presidential palace in Kabul.
A Samajwadi Party (SP) leader is in the eye of the storm for defending Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, equating it with India's own freedom struggle. The comments from SP member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal, Shafiqur Rahman Barq, drew sharp reaction from chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Barq made the comments while interacting with reporters on Monday, a day after the Taliban captured the presidential palace in Kabul. Barq said the Taliban want to free their country and it was Afghanistan's internal matter, according to news agency PTI.
The Samajwadi Party leader called the Taliban a force that did not allow Russia or the United States to establish themselves in Afghanistan "and now they want to run their own country".
He further said that when India was under British rule, the entire nation fought for Independence. "They want to be free. This is their personal matter. How can we interfere?" he added.
Reacting to the comments, Adityanath said in state legislature, “He was shamelessly supporting the Taliban. It means supporting their barbaric act. We are a parliamentary democracy. Where are we heading? We are supporting people who are a blot on humanity."
Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya compared Barq’s comments with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's remarks after Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. Maurya said he had not personally heard the remark. "But if this type of statement has been given then there is no difference between that person and Imran Khan," he said.
Khan had on Monday supported the Taliban takeover of Kabul, saying Afghanistan has broken the "shackles of slavery".