Pakistan has denied claims made by the acting defense minister of the Taliban that the US has used its airspace for drone operations in Afghanistan, calling the Taliban official’s remarks “conjectural allegations.”
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan stated, “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.”
Pakistan, according to the statement, reiterated its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states and declared that it condemns terrorism in all of its forms.
“We urge the Afghan interim authorities to ensure the fulfillment of international commitments made by Afghanistan not to allow the use of its territory for terrorism against any country,” said Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.
Mullah Yaqoub, the Taliban Minister of Defense made the assertions on Sunday, almost a month after Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda chief, was killed when a CIA drone fired two rounds of missiles at his hideout in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
The Taliban official stressed that Pakistan’s airspace is being used by US drones for patrolling Afghanistan, which is a flagrant violation of the territory and borders of the country, and demanded that Pakistan stop allowing US drones to use its airspace.
The statements made by the Taliban’s acting defense minister came while the group facilitates the peace negotiations between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, and the government of Pakistan.