‘Taliban with us to free Kashmir from India’: Pak govt leader on TV news debate
The remarks by Neelam Irshad Sheikh of Pakistan’s ruling PTI government come at a time when Islamabad has consistently been blamed for fostering the Taliban in Afghanistan, to the point of providing them with medical aids, weapons and logistics.
A leader of Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has said that the Taliban would help the country in ‘liberating’ Kashmir from India. Speaking at a television news debate, PTI leader Neelam Irshad Sheikh said, “Taliban have said that they are with us and they will help us in [liberating] Kashmir.”
The clip of the video that was retweeted by Pakistani journalist and former ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani, has surfaced online and was recirculated by news agency ANI.
In the video, the news anchor repeatedly asks Sheikh about the source of her information, even wondering at one point if she read about such a declaration by the Taliban on WhatsApp.
“Madam, do you realise what you have said. You have no idea what you just said. This show will air around the world; it will be viewed in India as well,” the news anchor asks the PTI leader.
However, Sheikh emphasises on her statement that Pakistan has the strength of its Army as well as the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan to help them “free Kashmir from India”.
Sheikh further said that the way Pakistan supported the Taliban when the latter was being hounded in Afghanistan, the militants said they would return the favour by helping Pakistan “make Kashmir a part of its country.”
Her remarks come at a time when Pakistan has consistently been blamed for fostering the Taliban in Afghanistan, to the point of providing them with medical aids, weapons and logistics.
Soon after taking over Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul and declaring rule over the country after nearly 20 years, a Taliban official had termed Kashmir to be a “bilateral and internal matter” and stated that the group is unlikely to focus on the Indian Union territory.
Another video recently surfaced online that showed students of radical Jamia Hafsa seminary in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, celebrating the triumph of the insurgents in Afghanistan by reciting poems and displaying the group’s flags.
The seminary’s chief hailed the students for their support of the Taliban and said that he wants Islamic Emirate to expand beyond Afghan borders. However, Islamabad administration claimed that they have removed Taliban flags from the seminary’s building.
Earlier, Pakistan premier Khan had also indirectly likened the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan by saying that the “shackles of slavery” has been broken in the war-gripped nation.