Taliban tell India and Pakistan: Do not use Afghanistan as a pawn Taliban spokesman Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai attends the opening of the two-day talks of the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives at the President Hotel in Moscow on February 5, 2019. (YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
A SENIOR Taliban leader has urged India and Pakistan not to use Afghanistan in their internal fight.
Taliban foreign affairs chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said India and Pakistan can fight between themselves on the border.
Stanikzai, who is likely to become the nation’s foreign minister, reiterated that the Taliban want good relations with all their neighbours.
“We hope India and Pakistan do not use Afghanistan in their internal fight; they have a long border, they can fight among themselves on the border. They should not use Afghanistan for this and we will not let any country use our land for this,” the Taliban leader told CNN-News18.
Asked about fears that the Taliban may be hostile towards India or team up with Pakistan to target the country, Stanikzai said what is reported in the media is “often wrong”.
“There is no such statement or indication from our side. We want good relations with all our neighbouring countries,” he said.
Earlier, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said they did not have issues with India’s projects in Afghanistan, but were opposed to Delhi’s support to the “puppet” government of former president Ashraf Ghani.
Shaheen also said projects for the benefit of Afghans must be completed, if under construction.
India’s investments in Afghanistan over the past 20 years include roads, dams and even the parliament building.
Shaheen added: “What we have wanted for the last 20 years is that countries, including India, should have a relation with the people of Afghanistan. And they should also acknowledge the intention of the people of Afghanistan for the liberation of the country. It was our point and our position and we have always said no one should not side with that puppet government.”