Taliban trying to take military equipment to Pakistan, says senior Afghan official

Kabul: Amid the US military drawdown from Afghanistan, a senior Afghan security official said that the Taliban is making efforts to transport military equipment captured from Afghan security forces, including tanks, to Pakistan.

This comes as the Taliban continues to take several districts, and military bases that house dozens of vehicles, tanks and others, TOLOnews reported.

“There is also information that the Taliban take some (military) tanks to Pakistan through Zabul province (in southern Afghanistan),” Afghanistan’s Acting Interior Minister Gen. Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said on Saturday while adding that his remarks were based on intelligence information he has received.

“The National Security Council and the commander in chief have ordered permanent patrols to target any tank that is tried to be taken to Pakistan.”

Reiterating Mirzakwal’s remarks, another high-ranking Afghan official said some military equipment has been transferred across the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“They have taken military equipment owned by security forces across the Durand Line,” said Shamim Khan Katawazai, head of the Afghan’s Independent Directorate of Local Governance. “There are evidence and footage about this. Pakistani soldiers have clicked photos with them.”

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the claims on the transfer of military equipment by the group to Pakistan.

On Friday, former US National Security Advisor (NSA) John Bolton had said that Pakistan is directly responsible for the Taliban’s return to power.

He blamed Islamabad for supporting the Taliban and providing them safe havens in Pakistan during the past two decades, reported The Khaama Press.

“Parts of the Pakistani government are directly responsible for the Taliban’s return to power”, Bolton said in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA). Pakistan’s intelligence and other internal circles have been in contact with the Taliban for decades, Bolton added.

Since the start of the US drawdown from Afghanistan in May, the Taliban has overrun numerous districts across Afghanistan. Clashes are currently underway between Taliban and Afghan security forces in several districts across the country.