India's discomfort over turn of events in Afghanistan obvious: Sheikh Rashid

Published August 25, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid addresses the media in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid addresses the media in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Wednesday that India’s discomfort over the turn of events in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover was obvious, and the entire world was a witness to how India was "in a state mourning".

Addressing the media in Islamabad, Rashid further remarked that the way India was evacuating its citizens from Afghanistan made its defeat evident.

"Defeat is written on their faces," he said, adding that the credit for India’s "defeat" went to the Pakistani nation and its institutions.

The minister said Pakistan had been paying the price of disorder in Afghanistan for years and wanted peace to be restored there as it realised that "peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan".

In reply to a question, he referred to statements by Taliban spokespersons Zabiullah Mujahid and Suhail Shaheen, expressing hope that the Taliban would stay true to their word of not letting Afghanistan's soil being used against any country, including Pakistan.

Authorities in Pakistan have been critical of India for increasing its influence in Afghanistan and using its soil against Pakistan.

The lastest remarks in this respect by Rashid follow those of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who said on Tuesday that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was in a state of "disarray" after Indian funding for the militant outfit had stopped.

"We should be satisfied to know with regards to the TTP that for the first time the process of Indian funding [to them] — which had been going on for a long time — has ended and at this time they are in disarray,” Fawad had said in a press conference.

In the same press conference, the information minister told media persons that a cabinet meeting had been held to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, where it was stated that "India should stay clear of interference in Afghanistan. India has no border with Afghanistan."

He said India had used Afghanistan's land against Pakistan and "at this time too we are seeing a continuous effort visible on Indian media that the Afghan peace process is sabotaged."

A day ago, former Afghan prime minister and Hizb-i-Islami (HI) chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had also asked India not to fight the Kashmir war from Afghan soil.

“New Delhi should focus on its internal issues instead of issuing statements regarding the future of Afghanistan,” Hekmatyar had said while talking to the media in Kabul.

He had added that New Delhi should respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

'Not the time for domestic politics'

Addressing media persons on Wednesday, Rashid also commented on the opposition, particularly the Pakistan Democratic Movement.

"My only advice to them is that this region is gaining importance globally and this is not the time for domestic politics," he said, implying that the opposition needed to change its strategy and work on a broader canvas.

"The rest is up to them, but they cannot remove [Prime Minister Imran] by taking out rallies," he said. "Imran Khan will complete his five-year tenure."

He added that he did not see the opposition putting up a united front in the coming days, and that it now needed to start preparing for the 2023 general elections.

The interior minister also assured that steps were being taken to improve security surveillance in Islamabad.

He said 1,152 cameras would be installed in the capital and eight drones had been bought for the purpose.

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