Islamabad, Aug 17: Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Tuesday that the country has taken the Afghan Taliban on board over the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issue, hoping that the Afghan soil will not be used against Islamabad.
Rasheed was responding on Geo Pakistan to reports of the release of key TTP commanders from jails in Afghanistan, as the Taliban took over the country.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad, the former deputy chief of the TTP, was also released as the Taliban after Kabul’s fall on Sunday.
“The outlawed TTP and Daesh (Islamic State) militants are present in the mountainous ranges of Nooristan and Nighar,” he said.
“We have taken the Taliban on-board over the TTP issue and told them that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan and it hopes Afghanistan won’t allow its soil to be used against Pakistan.”
When pressed further, the Minister said he could not disclose to the media what Pakistan has discussed with the Taliban.
“Previously, Pakistan was supporting the US due to which the TTP and the Taliban were on the same page. That is not the case now,” he noted.
In response to another question, the Interior Minister said Pakistan was not facing any refugee crisis or “load” on its border with Afghanistan, given the volatile situation in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has completed 97-98 per cent of the fencing around the Afghan border,” said Rasheed, adding that the border has been fenced even around the most hostile of terrains.
“Our troops are manning the security check-posts along the border as well.”
The Minister said that in the past, most of the migrants who slipped through the border to Pakistan were the Taliban or others who were frustrated with the Northern Alliance.
He said that is not the case now.