MPs want Russian diplomat remarks investigated
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament members on Saturday termed Russia’s coordination with Afghan Taliban to counter the Islamic State or Daesh in Afghanistan as meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
They demanded an investigation into recent remarks by a top Russian diplomat about his country contact with Taliban in the fight against the Raqqa-based terrorist organization.
The Russian diplomat, Zamir Kabulov, also the Kremlin’s special representative in Afghanistan, had said on Wednesday that his country was sharing information with Taliban against the IS.
In combating Daesh, Kabulov said Moscow and Taliban had a commonality of interest. The Interfax news agency quoted him as saying: “Taliban interests objectively coincide with ours.”
“I have said before that we have communication channels with the Taliban to exchange information,” he added.
Kabulov claimed both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban had refused recognising Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as a caliph.
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group did not need foreign assistance to combat the IS
The issue was debated in the Afghan parliament on Saturday. Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a lawmaker from western Herat province, said: “Russia in the past too had interfered in Afghanistan’s matters and as a result, the people of Afghanistan suffered.”
He said the Russian contact with Taliban was a clear violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and such steps would turn the war-torn country into a new battlefield.
But female lawmaker Shinkai Karokhel said such criticism by lawmakers showed they had no belief in Afghanistan-Russia relationship.
She said such allegations should be leveled with proofs and urged the house not to allow such remarks in future that could harm relations between the two countries.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said also remarks of the Russian envoy were a clear violation of Afghanistan independence and an indicter to convert Afghanistan into a battlefield of a proxy war.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) should have declared Afghanistan’s stance earlier as the people of Afghanistan were worried that their country might become a centre for proxy wars.
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