Taliban Vows Afghan Soil Won't Be Used By Terror Groups: Pak Minister

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Balochistan Liberation Army have carried out scores of attacks in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces this year alone

Taliban Vows Afghan Soil Won't Be Used By Terror Groups: Pak Minister

Taliban told to win the confidence of nations by tackling regional terrorism: Pakistan minister

Islamabad:

The Taliban leadership in Afghanistan has vowed to not let its soil be used by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) to carry out terror operations in neighbouring Pakistan, according to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Mr Qureshi and Pakistani spy agency ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed made an unannounced visit to Kabul on Thursday to meet the Taliban administration in Afghanistan, including Interim Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, underlining Islamabad's want for lasting peace and stability in the war-torn country.

During wide-ranging discussions, Akhund assured Mr Qureshi that the TTP and the BLA would not be allowed to carry out terror operations from Afghan soil, Mr Qureshi said.

Both groups are listed as banned terrorist outfits in Pakistan.

The TTP and BLA have carried out scores of attacks in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces this year alone, mainly targeting security forces and in some cases religious processions and even Chinese citizens working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after returning from his day-long visit, Mr Qureshi said the ''interim Afghan government'' had given him a firm assurance that terror groups cannot attack Pakistan from Afghan entry points.

Apart from Akhund, the meeting with Mr Qureshi was also attended by senior Cabinet members of the Taliban regime, Abdullah Hanafi, Amir Khan Muttaqi, Mullah Hidayatullah and Yaqub Mujahid, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Mr Qureshi said the Taliban government had been told that it needed to win the confidence of other nations by tackling regional terrorism.

Mr Qureshi elaborated using Russia as an example which has concerns over the ISIS building up using Afghan soil; similarly Iran has reservations over the targeted killing of Hazara community members.

Hazaras are an ethnic minority in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border who are regularly persecuted by regional factions.

"So, the Afghan Taliban needs to enhance cooperation with these countries on counterterrorism," the newspaper quoted the minister as saying.

Mr Qureshi earlier said Pakistan would provide humanitarian assistance worth Rs 500 crore to Afghanistan and would also allow duty free import of fresh fruits and vegetables from Afghanistan to facilitate bilateral trade.

The United Nations had warned last month that the poverty rate in Afghanistan was soaring and public services were close to collapse.

Some 40 per cent of the country's GDP - national output - comes from aid, according to the World Bank. The US also froze USD 10 billion of the country's central bank assets after the Taliban captured Kabul in August.

Mr Qureshi was visiting Afghanistan for the first time after the Taliban took over in mid-August. He is the third foreign minister after those of Qatar and Uzbekistan to visit since the Taliban seized power.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US' complete troop withdrawal on August 31 after a costly two-decade war.

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