Pakistan dismisses as ‘propaganda’ reports it helped Taliban in Panjshir

‘Malicious allegations part of desperate attempt to malign Pakistan and to mislead the international community.’

The Taliban government’s swearing-in ceremony has been scheduled for September 11.

Pakistan has termed as “mischievous propaganda” the allegation that it aided the Taliban offensive against resistance forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir valley.

“These malicious allegations were part of a desperate attempt to malign Pakistan and to mislead the international community,” the nation’s foreign spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in the statement.

On Monday, the Taliban claimed to have taken Panjshir, one of the provinces not in its control after it ran over Afghanistan last month amid desertion by the US-backed Afghan forces and fleeing of president Ashraf Ghani. The grouping has now formed a government in Afghanistan, which is set to be recognised by various nations.

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In the wake of news about the fall of Panjshir, it was reported in the media that the Pakistani military was helping the Taliban attack Panjshir with 27 helicopters full of Pakistani Special Forces backed by drone strikes.

Panjshir resistance fighters later claimed the Taliban had not “completely” captured the valley, with National Resistance Front leader Ahmad Massoud saying senior leaders were safe.

Also read: Taliban is Pakistan’s close ally and yet a cause for worry

A US lawmaker even sought sanctions against Pakistan for its alleged hand in the capture of the crucial valley. “If confirmed, not only must we cut off all aid, we must enact sanctions. Pakistan is now showing what they lied about for years, they created and protected the Taliban,” Congressman Adam Kinzinger was quoted as saying.

Panjshir is home to almost 2 lakh Afghans and was a centre of resistance when Afghanistan was under Soviet occupation in the 1980s and during Taliban rule in the nation between 1996 and 2001.

Pakistan’s Iftikhar reiterated that the nation was committed to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

The Taliban government’s swearing-in ceremony has been scheduled for September 11, Saturday, with Russia, China, Turkey, Qatar and Pakistan among the invitees.

Also read: Taliban behaved professionally in latest evacuation, says US

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