Fazlullah not hiding in Afghanistan
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said the succession of Mullah Fazlullah as the new leader of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP would not have any effect on the security situation in Afghanistan.
Fazlullah, who ordered the killing of schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, was elected by a Taliban council as the militant organisation’s new chief at an undisclosed location in lawless tribal region of Waziristan near the Afghanistan border on Thursday, six days after his predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike.
Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Musazai, speaking at a weekly press briefing in Kabul, rejected the Pakistani government’s claims that Mullah Fazullah was hiding in Afghanistan.
He said Afghanistan had offered countless sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and that Kabul would not allow the use of Afghan soil for terrorist activities against a foreign country.
Musazai also said a High Peace Council (HPC) delegation would soon visit Pakistan for direct talks with the Afghan Taliban number two, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who Islamabad has released to help advance the Afghan peace process.
About the London talks between President Karzai, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and their host UK premier David Cameron, the foreign ministry spokesman said Islamabad had agreed to practically supporting the Afghan peace process.
Musazai said Pakistan had a key role to play as part of efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
“What is important about Mullah Baradar, he should be freed in a way that he can have an address in order he is able to play his role in the Afghanistan peace process,” the official said.
He said the Afghan government preferred Baradar should visit Afghanistan and reside in his home country to play his role for peace in cooperation with the High Peace Council.
Musazai hoped the HPC would hold constructive and positive parleys with the Taliban leader.
He also said deputy foreign minister Zarar Ahmad Usmani had discussed with the US deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan the bilateral security agreement (BSA) and cooperation in various areas between Kabul and Washington.
Afghanistan’s key demands in the BSA document remained respect to the country’s sovereignty, the protection of Afghans and strengthening Afghan security forces, said Musazai.
He said Zarar briefed the US diplomat on the Loya Jirga due later this month to make a final decision on the deal.
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