Taliban Acting Minister of Defense Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid (L) is on an official visit in Qatar to discuss bilateral ties, July 6-7, 2022. (PHOTO: Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman, twitter)

KABUL, Afghanistan – Kabul and Doha are expected to sign an agreement on security cooperation, said acting Minister of Defense Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, as he wrapped up a two-day official trip to the Qatari capital Doha.

But some sources said Taliban government expressed unwillingness to any kind of foreign support that would jeopardize their authority over the Afghan National Security Forces.

According to the acting minister, the agreement will be assessed by the officials of the Islamic Emirate to decide whether to close the deal, saying “I look at it as a good step and we will consult on this agreement.”   

“Qatar is interested in an agreement to be signed between the defense ministries of Qatar and Afghanistan,” he told the RTA, as TOLOnews quoted. “There will be a security pact, based on which the two countries will cooperate with each other.”

Addressing the reform of a new government – including the military forces – in Afghanistan, Mawlawi Mojahid said he requested Qatar to help provide the Islamic Emirate forces with adequate military gears and monthly compensation.

“We call for their cooperation in providing salaries for the army because Qatar is an Islamic country and it has helped Afghanistan in the past,” he said. “And also to help us provide uniforms for the forces to secure the borders.”

Meanwhile, political analyst and former diplomats in the country have mixed opinions, saying Qatari government is willing to sign a deal with Afghan authorities based on the “wants” of the international community.

“Qatar has offered an agreement based on consultation with Western countries to encourage the young Afghan leaders to bring reforms, the reforms which the international community wants,” said Torek Farhadi, a political analyst, as local media quoted.

“The Qatari government as the strategic partner of the US is implementing the goals of the US in Afghanistan and it implements the instructions of the US toward the Taliban,” said Aziz Maarij, a former diplomat.  

Asadullah Nadim, another political analyst, said “the security pact regarding incentivizing the Air Force and National Defense Forces of Afghanistan with Qatar will allow the people of Afghanistan and the new rulers to stand against the ominous plans of Pakistan and Iran.”

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Last week, the acting Minister of Defense Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid left for an official visit to Qatar, where he met the country’s senior officials to discuss bilateral ties.

Acting Minister of Defense Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid met with the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and discussed biliteral ties, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted.

In a two-day formal trip, the Taliban senior official is meeting with Qatari authorities, including the Qatari Minister of Defense, to tackle regional cooperation and bilateral ties.

Meanwhile, former Afghan diplomats expressed concern over the outcome of such meetings, which according to them are being held behind the closed doors and the details are not being shared with public.

“These negotiations have a status which unfortunately is not told by the Taliban officials and politicians to the Afghan nation but behind the curtains there is a plan and a vital change of a political aspect of Afghanistan will happen,” said Azizi Maarij, a former diplomat, as local media quoted.

This came days after Qatari officials expressed criticism against the Islamic Emirate’s policies regarding girls’ schools beyond grade six that remained closed for the past eight months. Even the latest national grand assembly failed to address the issue.

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