Pakistan irked over Taliban’s drone allegations

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Yaqoob last week had alleged that Pakistan was allowing the US to operate drones from its soil….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan may have publicly expressed concerns over the Afghan Taliban’s allegations that the country was allowing the US to operate drone from its soil, Islamabad has privately conveyed in categorical terms to the de facto rulers of Kabul that such public outbursts will be detrimental for the bilateral ties.

Pakistan was dismayed by the acting Afghan Defence Minister Mullah Muhammad Yaqoob’s allegations, reflecting the same mindset of the previous Afghan administrations that blamed their own follies on Islamabad, The Express Tribune reported.

Sources said Pakistan was not expecting such a public statement from the senior Afghan Taliban leader given the fact that Islamabad had done so much for the interim government since the Taliban returned to power.

Yaqoob last week had alleged that Pakistan was allowing the US to operate drones from its soil.

“According to our information the drones are entering through Pakistan to Afghanistan, they use Pakistan’s airspace, we ask Pakistan, don’t use your airspace against us,” said Mullah Yaqoob, who is the son of former Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar.

Pakistan rejected Afghan Taliban government’s allegations that the country was allowing the US to use its airspace for drones, terming the charge as defying diplomatic norms.

Responding to allegations, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that Pakistan had noted, with deep concern, the allegation by the acting defence minister of Afghanistan regarding use of Pakistan’s air space in the US counter-terrorism drone operation in Afghanistan.

“In the absence of any evidence, as acknowledged by the Afghan Minister himself, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct,” he added.

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