Days after 'bilateral issue' remark, Taliban makes a U-turn on Kashmir, says 'have right to raise voice for Muslims'
Kabul (Afghanistan) | Jagran News Desk: As New Delhi remains concerned over the possible use of Afghan soil for anti-India activities, Taliban on Friday said that it has the right to raise its voice for the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Islamists have said that they don't have the policy to raise arms against any country.
"We have this right, being Muslims, to raise our voice for Muslims in Kashmir, India, and any other country," said Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen in an interview with BBC Urdu. "We will raise our voice and say that Muslims are your own people, your own citizens. They are entitled to equal rights under your laws".
The U-turn from the top Taliban leader comes days after the group claimed that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a "bilateral and an internal matter".
Taliban had captured Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, on August 15. Since then, New Delhi has remained concern that the Afghan soil might be used by militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for anti-India activities. India believes that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which shares good relations with Taliban leadership, will try to influence the group over its stand on Jammu and Kashmir.
On Tuesday, Indian envoy to Qatar Deepak Mittal had also met Taliban's Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha and conveyed that the Afghan soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism. It was the first publicly acknowledged formal diplomatic engagement that came two weeks after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
"We used the opportunity to convey our concerns whether it is in getting people out (from Afghanistan) or on the issue of terrorism. We received a positive response," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi at a media briefing, as reported by news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, India is considering to increase the security in its border areas along with Pakistan, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. "There will be increased security vigil in Kashmir but things are in control and Pakistan based groups in Afghanistan have little capacity to use the situation," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma