Amid India’s concern that Afghanistan territory might be used for anti-India activity under the Taliban regime, the terror group has said that it has the right to raise its voice for Muslims anywhere including in Kashmir. However, it added that the group does not have the policy to raise arms against any country.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said: “We have this right, being Muslims, to raise our voice for Muslims in Kashmir, India, and any other country.”
“We will raise our voice and say that Muslims are your own people, your own citizens. They are entitled to equal rights under your laws,” he added, according to Geo News.
Shaheen remarks are in contrast with the group’s earlier statements on Kashmir. Days after taking control of Kabul, the Taliban had said Kashmir is a “bilateral and an internal matter”.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday said India’s aim is to ensure Afghanistan’s land is not used for terror activity of any kind.
In the first formal and publicly acknowledged contact, Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai on Tuesday and conveyed India’s concerns that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism.
The MEA said the discussions also focused on the safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan and the travel of Afghan nationals, especially members of minority communities to India.
India is concerned that Afghanistan may become the epicentre of Islamic terrorism, a first-of-its-kind that has a state. In the past, ISIS and Al Qaeda also tried to establish a state but failed. There are fears that Sunni and Wahabi terrorist groups will turn the Taliban into their haven.
Amid growing concerns over the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, India is expected to increased security vigil in the region.
“There will be increased security vigil in Kashmir but things are in control and Pakistan based groups in Afghanistan have little capacity to use the situation,” government sources told ANI last month.
Government sources also said that Pakistan spy agency ISI, which shares good relations with Taliban leadership, will try to influence the Taliban but it will not be able to have an effect since the Taliban this time is in a position of strength and only weak Taliban can be influenced by ISI.
Recently, a leader of Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has said that the Taliban would help the country in ‘liberating’ Kashmir from India. Speaking at a television news debate, PTI leader Neelam Irshad Sheikh said, “Taliban have said that they are with us and they will help us in [liberating] Kashmir.”