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Top Taliban leaders were born, brought up and trained in Pakistan, says interior minister Sheikh Rashid

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid felt proud that Pakistan has been looking after the Taliban for a long time

After the US’s exit, Pakistan has been trying its best to cosy up to the Taliban. Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid’s love for the Taliban is well known and it keeps showing up every now and then. He feels proud that Pakistan has been looking after the Taliban for a long time.

“The top leaders of the Taliban were born here in Pakistan. They studied here. Pakistan is obliged by providing them an education. It was our “pleasure” to host them and train them.  There are more who are still studying here. (Ye jo top Taliban leader hain, woh toh yahin paida hue, yahin taleem hasil ki, trained kiya ..aur bhi kai  padh rahe honge, iss mein toh,  Pakistan ki khidmat hain ki humne unko taleem di”, proudly boasted Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid during an interview on Hum news Channel.

Sheikh Rashid also said that Mullah Baradar was arrested on the instructions of the US. The Pakistani agencies made sure that Baradar got all the comfort during his stay in Jail. Then the US asked us to release him because they had to negotiate with him. (Mullah Baradar toh jail mein tha. Americans ne kaha Usko Nikalo, uss se Mujakarat Karni hai ..Ab kya kahun). “I can't say more because I am interior minister.”

Earlier in June, amid escalating violence in Afghanistan, Sheikh Rashid had made a shocking revelation, saying families of Afghani Taliban militants live in various regions in Pakistan, including Islamabad's prime areas, and are sometimes treated in local hospitals.

The swift victory of the Taliban has generated euphoria and a sense of triumphalism in the Pakistani leadership. 

Also Read: Back from Afghanistan Kashmiri terror groups celebrate by singing “Salam Taliban”

“Interestingly, the Taliban leadership appears more circumspect about their victory than our ‘warrior’ ministers. There is a mad race to claim credit for the change in Afghanistan to the point of embarrassment,” says Pakistani journalist Zahid Hussain.

Unlike in 1996, Pakistan has not “recognised” the Taliban regime and is waiting for other countries, especially, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia to take the lead. However, at the same time Pakistani leaders have been issuing warnings that abandoning the Taliban may lead to another 9/11. It seems that Pakistani leaders are urging western powers to recognise the Taliban.

"The international community has to weigh its options, and isolating Afghanistan would be a dangerous option,” Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mohammad Qureshi told Sky News.

"That's the mistake that was committed in the 90s. I would urge the international community not to repeat the same mistake again,” Qureshi warned.

Also Read: Pakistan playing ‘Good Taliban, Bad Taliban’ game again for bigger clout in Afghanistan

It's quite interesting that while a section of Pakistani diplomats have been denying the close links between Pakistan and the Taliban, on the other hand, Pakistani ministers are “feeling” proud for hosting and serving Taliban leaders.

In a leaked phone conversation on July 23, US president Joe Biden was told by the then Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, “We are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this,” but  Biden ignored this.