Pakistan rejects allegations it backed Taliban in Panjshir Valley
Pakistan has rejected reports that it aided the Taliban's takeover in the Panjshir province. In a statement, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar described the claims as a "mischievous propaganda campaign." On Monday, the Taliban claimed that it had taken over Panjshir Valley, the last holdout since the extremist group's hostile takeover of Afghanistan last month. Here are more details.
'Malicious allegations part of desperate attempt to malign Pakistan'
Iftikhar said that Pakistan has "categorically rejected these allegations as part of a mischievous propaganda campaign." "These malicious allegations were part of a desperate attempt to malign Pakistan and to mislead the international community," the envoy said in the overnight statement, adding that Pakistan is committed to the idea of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan.
International community has collective responsibility to help Afghanistan: Pakistan
On Friday, Pakistan said that the international community has a "collective responsibility" to help Afghanistan at this hour. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also said that the nation had sent a plane carrying food and medicines to Kabul. Pakistan also wants to unfreeze Afghanistan's assets to enable the Taliban to revive the country's economy, he added.
Pakistan military assisted Taliban in Panjshir: US Central Command
According to the US Central Command, the Pakistan military assisted the Taliban in Panjshir by providing at least 27 helicopters filled with Pakistan Special Forces. Pakistan also allegedly backed the group by drone strikes against the resistance. Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence's chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed visited Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar a day before the Taliban said it had overtaken Panjshir.
Anti-Taliban resistance had gathered in Panjshir Valley
On Monday, the Taliban announced that the group had taken control of Panjshir. Panjshir is where National Resistance Front (NRF) leader Ahmad Massoud and ousted Vice President Amrullah Saleh are leading a fight against the Taliban from. The region was the center of resistance during the 1980s Soviet occupation and the 1990s occupation of the Taliban.