‘Taliban received men, weapons, explosives from Pakistan’

New Delhi: The Taliban have received men, weapons and explosives but also direction from across our southern frontiers, which is Pakistan, said Ahmad Shuja Jamal, head of international affairs at Afghanistan’s National Security Council.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, he said: “That is why (they) are able to put up with such a stiff resistance across the country.”

Jamal said of the many explosive devices that were used to killed American soldiers in Afghanistan, 80 percent of them used ammonium nitrate which is fertilizer but also a precursor for explosives were produced in two Pakistani factories.

“If you focus on a given sliver of time, at any given moment, a province may have come under the Taliban’s control. But I think the situation remains completely fluid, which means, as we are speaking, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are actually rallying and pushing the Taliban out of the province of Kunduz.

“Similar action is happening in Sheberghan and similar action is happening in other provinces that you’ve listed as having fallen into the Taliban’s hands,” he said.

The Taliban militants are not capable of holding the provincial capitals. They have simply been unable to do that and as you have said a few moments ago, the last time they were able to capture any provincial capital was six years ago in 2015, he added.

Jamal said the civilians are really bearing the brunt of all of this.

“Because we’ve seen an increase in civilian casualties just as the Taliban have escalated their violence. Approximately two-thirds of the casualties have been women and children and that speaks to the Taliban’s modus operandi which is that they’re using civilian homes to hide but also launching attacks and that is creating a terrible toll for civilians.”

“We are fighting a transnational terrorist threat that is manifested in the form of the Taliban,” he added.

Afghan troika meet: India kept out

New Delhi: India has not been invited to a key meeting next week convened by Russia on the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan that is expected to be attended by Pakistan, China and the US.

The ‘extended Troika’ meeting is scheduled to be held in Qatar on August 11. Talks under this framework were earlier taken place on March 18 and April 30.

When asked about India not being invited to the ‘extended Troika’ meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that New Delhi engages with Moscow on Afghanistan on a regular basis.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Twitter@AhmadShuja)

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