Pakistan will pay 'very heavy price' if it continues to support Taliban, warns Afghanistan's Amurullah Saleh

 This comes in the middle of a surge of violence in Afghanistan with frequent clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces amid US troop withdrawal

Kabul: Afghanistan's first vice-president Amurullah Saleh has warned Pakistan that if it continues to provide support to Taliban then it has to pay a "very high price", local media reported.

"Pakistan-as a host of the Taliban since group's foundation could play a significant role in the peace process, and therefore become a reliable partner of the Afghan nation," Saleh said in a statement on Sunday as reported by Afghanistan Times.

According to a recent UN report, at least a dozen different militant groups are now active in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, with at least 6,500 Pakistani nationals reportedly involved.

This comes in the middle of a surge of violence in Afghanistan with frequent clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces amid US troop withdrawal.

According to the UN report, Pakistan-based jihadi groups such as Jaish-i-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) continue to fight alongside Taliban groups against Afghan national forces.

The Afghan vice-president said the price of supporting Taliban will be very high and that the situation has changed "not only us but the voices of conscience in Pakistan parliament strongly condemn the killings of Afghans at the hands of the Taliban" the daily reported.

Saleh belives all the countries except Pakistan wants to have good relations with the country, Afghanistan Times reported. Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday admitted that families of Afghan Taliban reside in his country, including in the capital city of Islamabad and that sometimes the members of the militant outfit are treated in local hospitals.

"Taliban families live here, in Pakistan, in Rawat, Loi Ber, Bara Kahuh and Tarnol," Rashid told a Urdu-language network in Pakistan citing the names of Islamabad suburbs. "Sometimes their bodies arrive and sometimes they come here in hospitals to get medical treatment," he said.

Islamabad has been accused of aiding the Taliban and using them as proxies for its own benefit. However, it continues to deny its connection to the terrorist group despite mounting evidence. John Bolton, the former White House National Security Advisor also accused Pakistan for providing support to Taliban from last two decades, The Khaama Press reported.

"If the Taliban seizes the power in Afghanistan, it will also be a threat to Pakistan as the extremist pressure on the Pakistani government will increase", Bolton warned Pakistan.

The Afghan vice-president said the recent trip to Washington by an Afghanistan was highly productive. Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani, along with the first vice president Amrullah Saleh, Hamdullah Mohib (National Security Advisor) Mohammad Hanif Atmar (Minister of Foreign Affairs) Adela Raz (Afghan Representative in UN) Shahrzad Akbar (Human Rights Commission Head) and the two female members of Afghanistan negotiating team Fatima Gailani and Habiba Sarabi joined the delegation meet, as reported by The Khaama Press.



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