The Taliban’s acting Defense Minister said on Sunday that Pakistan had allowed its airspace to be used by US drones to enter and attack Afghanistan, a claim Pakistan has since refuted in the wake of an airstrike by the US in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
Before noon on Sunday, August 28, Mullah Yaqoub and the Chief of Staff of the Taliban’s military forces held a press conference during which the Defense official claimed that US drones were using Pakistan’s territory and airspace to attack Afghanistan.
He emphasized that the use of drones to patrol Afghanistan’s airspace is a clear transgression of the country’s borders.
“We [the Taliban] ask Pakistan, don’t use your airspace against us,” Mullah Yaqoub said.
Pakistani officials, on the other hand, have denied any involvement in or knowledge of a July drone operation in Kabul that the US claimed killed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Previously, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was purportedly killed in a CIA drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, according to US President Joe Biden, who broke the news in a live broadcast.
The US stated that two Hellfire missiles fired from a drone killed the al-Qaeda chief while causing little damage elsewhere, preventing non-combatant fatalities.
The Taliban’s acting Defense Minister’s remarks come at a time when the group mediates the peace talks between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), aka Pakistani Taliban, and the government of Pakistan.