THE Afghan government has rejected the claim of Pakistan’s government that the … head of the Swat Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah is hiding in the hilly areas of Afghanistan. It has asked the Pakistani government to provide solid evidence…. In a recent interview, a defence ministry official rejected the reports…. The spokesman … alleged that … this was merely a rumour being spread by the Pakistan government because it has for a long time been openly interfering in the affairs of Afghanistan.

…This is not true. Pakistan has always raised the issue of the Taliban using Afghan soil to attack Pakistan.... The issue of Fazlullah’s presence in Afghanistan has always been raised by Pakistan although it has failed to provide any kind of authentic information….Pakistan has repeatedly claimed that the attack on the award-winning student Malala Yousufzai was orchestrated by Fazlullah.

The governor of Kunar province, Syed Fazlullah Wahidi, also said that the Pakistan government’s claim was baseless but conceded that Pakistan has raised such issues in the past. About Osama bin Laden, he said Pakistan had blamed Afghanistan for letting him stay in Kunar province but later the Al Qaeda chief was killed at a … place where movement was difficult for even ordinary Pakistanis. He said that Afghanistan is ready to extend full cooperation to Pakistan in arresting and extraditing the militants’ commander if authentic information is provided.—(Oct 30)

Selected and translated by Ali Hazrat Bacha.

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