Kabul protests Tehran’s backing of Taliban
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has raised the issue of Iran’s cooperation with the Taliban and some rebel leaders’ trips to that country with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.
Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan republic, Russia, hosted on July 9 and 10 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) summits.
At his meeting with Rouhani, Ghani urged him to support his government-initiated peace process as part of its efforts to muster more support from regional and international countries for the reconciliation process.
Ghani flew to Ufa last week to take part in the 15th BRICS and SCO summits. He told the SCO members that terrorism was a regional threat which should be curbed through joint and regional efforts.
In a reference to Taliban’s visits to Iran, the president said if Afghanistan took similar steps and invited the Mujahidin-i-Khalq to Afghanistan what will be the reaction of the government of Iran.
Mujahidin-i-Khalq, a leftist political wing, is an armed organization in Iran. It was established in 1965.
Rouhani did not directly respond to Ghani’s complaint, but said it was an intelligence mistake which would not be repeated in future.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Iran in Kabul could not be reached for comments.
Iran has been frequently accused for having links with Afghan Taliban. A delegation of Taliban headed by Tayyib Agha and members of Taliban political office in Qatar reportedly visited Tehran in April.
Wahid Muzhda, a political analyst, said Afghanistan should formally lodge its protest with Iran over the issue as secret protests would bear no fruits.
He said Iran was backing Taliban who received arms and other facilities from Iran during President Karzai government, but the Afghan government had never raised the issue.
He said Taliban leader Mullah Omar in his Eid message had mentioned Iran in a different way, which showed the group might be receiving assistance from that country.
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