KABUL: Taliban Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqoob accused Pakistan on Sunday of allowing the US to use its airspace for drone attacks on Afghan soil. Authorities in Islamabad have denied involvement in an American drone strike on Kabul in July.
Yaqoob told reporters that the Taliban – the militant Islamist group that has controlled Afghanistan since the US withdrawal a year ago – has not been able to accurately track US violations of Afghan airspace as the American military “completely destroyed” its radar infrastructure before leaving the country in August 2021.
“But according to our information the drones are entering through Pakistan to Afghanistan, they use Pakistani airspace,” he claimed, adding: “We demand Pakistan stop the use of its airspace against us.”
Pakistani authorities have previously denied allegations that they played a part in a US drone strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul last month. The Taliban, whose members are currently demanding that they be acknowledged as Afghanistan’s legitimate rulers, described the strike as a violation of “international principles” and the Doha agreement.
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Under this pact, signed by the Taliban and the US in 2020, the militants agreed not to let Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorists, while Washington agreed to withdraw its military forces, which had occupied the country since 2001.
Although an American ally, Pakistan provided military and financial aid to the Taliban before and during the US invasion of Afghanistan. However, Pakistani nationals working on fencing up the country’s border with Afghanistan have come under attack by Taliban fighters in recent months, with Pakistan launching airstrikes in response.