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Taliban-Pakistan rift widens: Afghan Ambassador lodges complaint at UN Security Council over airstrikes

Afghanistan Defence Minister Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid (Image courtesy: Twitter/@Jahidmiwandwal9)

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have filed complaints against their longtime ally Pakistan over the Pakistani military’s airstrikes on Khost and Kunar provinces in Afghanistan. The Charge d’Affaires of Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, who was appointed by the previous Afghan government lodged an official complaint following strong domestic and international reactions including protests over Pakistani airstrikes on some parts of Kunar and Khost provinces on April 16. 

In a letter to President of UNSC, Afghanistan Charge d’ Affairs has complained that the air strikes “is a flagrant breach of international laws, including humanitarian laws, the principles of UN Charter, the UNGA and UNSC resolutions, including resolution 1453 (2002) on Kabul Declaration of Good Neighbourly Relations.” 

“The persistent violation of Afghanistan’s territory by Pakistani military forces through cross-border shelling, construction of military posts and fences inside Afghanistan’s soil have been going on for over a decade. Particularly of high concern is the cross-border shelling which has caused scores of civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of public and private properties. These acts are reprehensible and must be stopped. Continuation of these breaches will impact the relations of two nations and it will further destabilize the peace and security in Afghanistan and the region,” Afghanistan Charge d’ Affairs Faiq wrote in the letter to UNSC on April 18. 

Earlier the Taliban rulers had warned Pakistan not to attack inside Afghanistan again. The son of the founder of the Taliban and the defence minister of Taliban Mullah Yaqoob, read out the riot order to Pakistan.

“We can't tolerate the invasion. We have tolerated that attack. We tolerated that because of national interests, next time we might not tolerate it. We are facing problems and challenges from both the world and our neighbours, the clear example is invasion by them in our territory in Khost and Kunar." 

Interestingly the letter by Afghanistan's Charge d'affaires shares the same sentiments raised by the Taliban rulers against Pakistan.

Though Afghanistan does not have any ambassador in the UN as the Taliban regime is not recognised by the world and the Charge D'affaires Faiq took the charge after the previous ambassador appointed by the previous Afghan government resigned last year. 

According to Afghanistan watchers, while the Taliban are wrangling for the UN seat, the current Charge D’affaires has been raising the plights of common Afghans in the UN. 

Also Read:  Taliban-Pakistan tensions zoom with founder Mullah Omar’s son stepping into the fray

Meanwhile, piqued by Mullah Yaqoob’s warning, Pakistan lashed out by warning  the Afghan Taliban in clear terms to take firm action against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)—a terror group that has been targeting Pakistani forces across the Durand Line by adopting guerrilla warfare tactics. In response Pakistan has carried out airstrikes on Afghan soil, apparently targeting TTP strongholds.

The Pakistanis warned their one-time proteges, now turned rogue, to be ready to  face  consequences as the situation on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border Durand Line has been worsening, “which is very alarming.” 

"Pakistan is learning the hard way that their hard-line ideology means more to the Taliban than gratitude for years of support and acquiescence from Pakistan," Husain Haqqani, the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute and former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, told DW. 

Also Read: Pak-Afghanistan rift widens with the Taliban’s refusal handover TTP militants after air strikes