‘We are the custodians of Taliban, they got shelter and home in Pakistan’: Says Pakistani minister Sheikh Rashid

Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rasheed

After the Taliban called Pakistan their ‘second home’, Pakistani Minister Sheikh Rashid has now confessed on a TV show that the Imran Khan-led government has indeed been the custodian of the Talibani leaders. 

“We are the custodians of Taliban leaders. We have taken care of them for long. They got shelter, education and a home in Pakistan. We have done everything for them,” declared Rashid openly while speaking on Hum News programme ‘Breaking Point with Malick’.

Welcoming the Taliban and snubbing the US, Rashid in another interview last week had also revealed that Pakistan is unwilling to shelter the US troop for a long time. “Their stay in the country is only for a limited period,” remarked the minister. 

It is notable here that Rashid is the same person who had once said Pakistan has the technology to develop ‘smart bombs’ that would kill only Hindus in India and spare the Muslims.

The Imran Khan government is gradually shedding its pretence of having nothing to do with the Jihadi organization. In fact, as the Taliban strengthens its position in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s dreams of ‘conquering’ Kashmir with its assistance has come to the fore. 

Speaking on a Pakistani news channel, Neelam Irshad Sheikh, a leader of Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party had said that ‘the Taliban are with us’ and that they will help win Kashmir. 

Pakistan defends the Taliban

The Pakistani Interior Minister’s comments come shortly after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asserted that Islamabad would continue to play a constructive role to support Afghanistan.

“It is essential for the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan to stabilise the situation and help the Afghan people economically and to continue providing humanitarian assistance,” said Qureshi making Afghanistan their new favourite neighbour. 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan too in a recent interview called the Taliban ‘normal citizens’. He also justified the Jihadi actions by claiming that the Afghan population had broken the ‘chains of slavery’ with the Taliban coming to power.

“We look forward to deepen ties with Pakistan”

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid during a television interview expressed his love and relation with Pakistan. 

“Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan. We are traditionally aligned when it comes to religion, the people of both countries mingle with each other. So we are looking forward to further deepening of ties with Pakistan,” said Mujahid adding he would want to establish good relations with India too. 

“The ISKP has links with the Taliban”

Acting president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh has been the strongest critique of Pakistan for giving shelter to the Taliban. Saleh has been incessantly talking about the deep ties between the terror organizations breeding in both countries. 

“Every evidence we have in hand shows that IS-K cells have their roots in Talibs and Haqqani network, particularly those operating in Kabul. Talibs denying links with ISIS is identical/similar to the denial of Pakistan on Quetta Shura. Talibs have learned very well from the master,” Saleh reiterated after the bomb blast that killed over a 100 civilians in Kabul last week. 

Prior to this, Saleh had accused Pakistan of setting up terrorist factories and camps that provide explosives materials to the Taliban to create chaos in Afghanistan.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia