Pakistan minister says top Taliban leaders 'born and trained' in Pak
Pakistan interior minister Sheikh Rashid has recently said in an interview that Pakistan has taken care of the Taliban for a long time. "All top Taliban leaders were born and brought up in Pakistan. This has been our 'service' that we trained them and many more might be studying," Sheikh Rashid said in an interview on Hum News programme called 'Breaking Point with Malick'.
At the same time, he countered the international criticism of Pakistan aiding the Taliban and said, "Mullah Baradar was in Pakistan jail. America asked us to release him."
"We want peace on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Peace suits both Pakistan and Afghanistan border," Sheikh Rashid said.
This comes at a time when Pakistan is officially throwing its weight behind Afghanistan and is also refuting allegations that Pakistan had a hand in the fall of Afghanistan. Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said the world must not abandon Afghanistan as that would have dangerous consequences. "Such a move would have dangerous consequences and no one would be spared,” the foreign minister said.
This is not the first time that Pakistan leaders admitted the country's link with the Taliban. Neelam Irshad Sheikh earlier said that the Taliban will help Pakistan in Kashmir.
Pakistan's aid to the Taliban remains an open secret as Pakistan attempts hard to distance itself from the Taliban. Reports have revealed that in the last phone call between US President Joe Biden and then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on July 23, Ghani informed Biden that Afghanistan was under full-scale invasion and the Taliban were not alone. There was full support of Pakistan and several international terrorists, mostly from Pakistan, had already infiltrated Afghanistan at that time.
Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, has recently countered the allegation that Pakistan had a crucial role behind the rise of the Taliban in his scathing letter where he said that the fall of Kabul was because of the corrupt army and not Pakistan.