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Ruling party leader insists Islamabad will take Taliban’s help in Kashmir

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: IANS)

Even as Pakistan makes loud noises denying its links with the Taliban militants who have takenover Afghanistan, one of its leaders has openly admitted its plan to pushing the Islamist fighters in Jammu and Kashmir.  

ANI news reports that Neelam Irshad Sheikh, a leader of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, said on national TV that Pakistan will now take the help of the militants in Kashmir. In a TV news debate, Sheikh announced that the Taliban has announced its plans to join hands with Pakistan in Kashmir.

Sheikh said: "The Taliban are saying that they are with us and they will help us in Kashmir". The anchor tried to calm down the politician and said, "Madam, do you realise what you have said. You have no idea what you have said. For God's sake ma'am, this show will air around the world. This will be viewed in India."

Interestingly, Sheikh insisted that the "Taliban will help us because they have been mistreated."

Pakistan's role in supporting, sheltering and arming the Taliban has been raised often by both India and Afghanistan. Pakistani military and intelligence's support to the Taliban often led to diplomatic skirmishes between the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A Taliban spokesperson had stated last year that Kashmir is India's 'internal and bilateral' issue and the group is unlikely to intervene. But with the hectic pace of developments in Afghanistan, it is uncertain how the Taliban will behave. 

Experts believe that due to their close relations, the Pakistani establishment will make efforts to send the thinly-knit group of fighters to India as part of its strategic goals.