— APP/File

Pakistan terms Afghan minister’s comments ‘highly regrettable’

by Pakistan News
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— APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday termed the accusations made by Afghanistan’s Acting Defence Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob “conjectural allegations”.

In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that the statement was “highly regrettable” and defied the “norms of responsible diplomatic conduct”.

“In the absence of any evidence, as acknowledged by the Afghan minister himself, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct,” said the spokesperson in a statement.

The spokesperson reaffirmed Islamabad’s “belief in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states” and condemnation of “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

“We urge the Afghan interim authorities to ensure the fulfilment of international commitments made by Afghanistan not to allow the use of its territory for terrorism against any country,” said the spokesperson.

‘Pakistan should not allow its airspace to be used against us’

Afghan defence minister Mujahid accused Pakistan earlier today of providing airspace for US drones to enter his country, characterising the incursions as a continuation of Washington’s “invasion”.

Mujahid’s comments came less than a month after US President Joe Biden announced the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Kabul.

US drones continued to be seen flying over Kabul even now, Mujahid said.

“Our information shows that they (US drones) are entering into Afghanistan from Pakistan, using the airspace of Pakistan,” Mujahid told reporters when asked where the drones were coming from.

“We demand that Pakistan should not allow its airspace to be used against us.”

Deploying these drones into Afghanistan is “still a clear invasion of Afghanistan and its airspace by the Americans”, Mujahid said.

“They are doing this shamelessly. We condemn this illegal act and demand that the Americans put an end to it.”

The United States led an invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 that toppled the first Taliban government, after the group refused to hand over the late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks.

The drone attack in July that killed Zawahiri, bin Laden’s successor, was the first known strike by the US on a target in Afghanistan since Washington withdrew its forces from the country on August 31 last year.

Mujahid said the authorities were investigating Biden’s claims of killing Zawahiri.

“We will share the details when it is complete,” he said.

Officials have neither confirmed Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan nor acknowledged his death.

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