Taliban supreme leader Hebatullah Akhundzada said on Wednesday that no one would be allowed to use Afghan soil to launch attacks on other countries.
In a message issued ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, the reclusive Taliban chief also called on other countries not to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Akhundzada’s pledge not to use Afghan soil to launch attacks on other countries comes against the backdrop of UN reports pointing to the presence of thousands of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, including al-Qaeda and Pakistan-based Lashkar- Members of A-Taiba. (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
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“We assure our neighbours, the region and the world that we will not allow anyone to use our soil to jeopardize the security of other countries. We ask other countries not to interfere in our internal affairs, ”Akhundzada said in his message.
“We seek good and strong diplomatic, economic and political relations with the whole world, including the United States, within a framework of mutual dialogue and commitment, and we consider this to be in the best interest of all parties,” he said.
Last month, India re-established a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, from where it withdrew all its officers following the Taliban takeover by deploying a “technical team” at the embassy in Kabul in August last year.
An Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary JP Singh, the point person of the Ministry of External Affairs for Afghanistan, who had visited Kabul prior to the deployment of the technical team, was assured by the Taliban’s acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani that the group would fight against Lashkar and Lashkar. will take action. JeM, people familiar with the matter said.
The Indian side has yet to see any action against these terror groups, although people said the Taliban’s commitment was a clear departure from the group’s past behaviour.
Akhundzada also made vague promises about education in Afghanistan in his message.
He added that the Taliban “pay special attention to the process of education, especially the education of children in the context of religion and modern education”.
He said the Taliban is also aware of the problems of the Afghan people. He said strengthening the economy and resolving these problems was a “joint responsibility” of the Taliban and the country.
The Taliban’s failure to meet several commitments to reopen educational institutions for girls and women has been one of the main sticking points with Western powers.
Although many countries have reopened their embassies in Kabul, so far no country has officially recognized the establishment of the Taliban.