KABUL: The Taliban’s acting defence minister accused Pakistan on Sunday of allowing American dro­nes to use its airspace to acc­ess Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan has recently denied following a US air strike in Kabul.

Acting defence minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob said at a news conference in Kabul that American drones had been entering Afghanistan via Pakistan.

“According to our information, the drones are entering through Pakistan to Afghanistan, they use Pakistan’s airspace, we ask Pakistan, don’t use your airspace against us,” he said.

Pakistan’s foreign office released a statement saying it noted Yaqoob’s comments with “deep concern”.

“In the absence of any evidence, as acknowledged by the Afghan minister himself, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct,” the statement said.

Authorities in Islamabad have already denied adva­nced knowledge of the drone strike that the US said it carried out in Kabul last month that killed Al Qaeda leader.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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