Taliban maintains close ties to Al-Qaeda, says Afghan foreign ministry

Kabul: Despite the Taliban’s claim that it seeks to maintain peace in Afghanistan, the country’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday revealed that the terror outfit still maintains close ties to the terrorist outfit Pakistani Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

According to Khaama News, the ministry announced on Sunday in a released statement that the 27th report of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Watchdog Group on Al-Qaeda, ISIL, and its affiliated groups indicated the Taliban has continued its relations with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

The statement read that the Taliban’s ties to Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and some other terrorist groups are still intact and that the killing of several al-Qaeda commanders, including Husam Abd al-Rauf, known as Abu Muhsen al-Masri, in Taliban-controlled areas is the evidence that backs these claims.

“The UN Security Council report also noted threats and coordination between the Pakistani Taliban, regional terrorist groups, and the Islamic Jihad group, a group of 100 militants that operate in Faryab and Kunduz provinces, in areas under the Taliban influence,” MoFA said in the statement.

Khaama News further reported that based on the findings, UN-Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team considers the situation in Afghanistan to be challenging and widely exposed to terrorism.

The Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry also called on international partners to uphold the Republic’s rightful stand against the Taliban and push the group for a ceasefire and violence reduction. First Vice President, Amrullah Saleh said the Taliban did not abide by the Doha agreement, He added that from 5,500 Taliban released prisoners, 85 per cent has returned to the battlefield.