'Taliban continue to enjoy a safe haven in Pakistan'

Taliban continue to enjoy a safe haven in Pakistan: Afghan UN envoy Isaczai

The Afghan envoy said millions of people are now vulnerable to indiscriminate shelling, death, injuries, destruction and displacement

Isaczai said since mid-April the Taliban and their affiliate foreign terrorist groups have launched more than 5,500 attacks in 31 of 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Credit: AFP File Photo

The Taliban continue to enjoy a safe haven, supply and the logistic line extended to their war machine from Pakistan, Afghanistan’s UN envoy has told the Security Council, asserting that it leads to further erosion of trust and confidence towards establishing a collaborative relationship with Islamabad to end the war in his country.

Ghulam Isaczai, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said the graphic reports and videos of Taliban fighters congregating close to the Durand Line to enter Afghanistan and treatment of the injured Taliban fighters in Pakistani hospitals were widely available.

“The Taliban continue to enjoy a safe haven in Pakistan and supply and the logistic line extended to their war machine from Pakistan,” Isaczai told the Security Council.

“This is not only a naked violation of the 1988 UN Security Council sanction regime, but also leads to further erosion of trust and confidence towards establishing a collaborative relationship with Pakistan to end the war in Afghanistan,” he said.

The 15-nation UNSC, currently under India’s Presidency for the month of August, held a meeting on the situation in Afghanistan on Friday.

Isaczai told the Council that consistent with the agreement of the leadership of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Tashkent last month, "we urge Pakistan to help with removing and dismantling Taliban sanctuaries and supply lines and establish with us a joint monitoring and verification mechanism to make the fight against terrorism and international effort for peace, effective and credible.”

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He reiterated that Afghanistan desires nothing but friendly relations and peaceful coexistence with Pakistan based on mutual respect for each other's sovereignty.

The Afghan envoy said millions of people are now vulnerable to indiscriminate shelling, death, injuries, destruction and displacement.

“Our cities and public infrastructure that we have rebuilt with your support over the past two decades are now exposed to an unimaginable level of Taliban destruction,” he said.

Isaczai said that in this “deliberate act of barbarism”, the Taliban are not alone. “They are assisted by foreign fighters from transnational terrorist networks. Together they are threatening our peace, security and stability not only in Afghanistan, but also in our region and beyond,” he said.

He asserted that “it is our collective responsibility” to stop them from destroying Afghanistan and threatening the world community.

“The scale, scope and timing of their military offensive is akin to an invasion unprecedented in the last 30 years of our conflict,” he said.

Isaczai said since mid-April the Taliban and their affiliate foreign terrorist groups have launched more than 5,500 attacks in 31 of 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

“These attacks have been launched with direct support of more than 10,000 foreign fighters representing 20 groups, including al Qaeda, LeT, TTP, IMU, ETIM and ISIL who entered our country, and are fighting alongside Taliban against our population and security forces,” he said.

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Isaczai said there is mounting evidence that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which have pledged allegiance to ISIS fought alongside Taliban in provinces of Afghanistan where they are currently present with their families under Taliban control.

“The link between the Taliban and these transnational terrorist groups is stronger today than at any point in recent times. Just as indicated numerous times by the Sanction Monitoring team of the UN Security Council, the Taliban, contrary to their commitments under the Doha agreement, have not broken ties with their regional and international terrorist organisations.

“In fact, these links are unbreakable, as they have been cultivated and built on shared ideology interest and goals and intermarriages which have been translated into joint attacks, logistical and material support,” he said.

US President Joe Biden said in April US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of August, ending a 20-year foreign military presence.

The Taliban in recent days has swept across Afghanistan, pushing back the Afghan military and taking over significant swaths of territory as the US nears the end of its withdrawal.

Approximately 650 troops are set to remain in the country to secure the US diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, including the embassy, and to assist in securing Kabul’s international airport, which is a necessary facility for the movement of diplomats.