August 30, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9524

Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid On Pakistani Taliban Organization TTP: 'It Is Up To Pakistan, And Pakistani Ulema And Religious Figures... To Decide On The Legitimacy Or Illegitimacy Of Their War'

August 30, 2021
Special Dispatch No. 9524

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Speaking on a Pakistani television program, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said that it is not for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization which seized power in Kabul on August 15) to decide about the legitimacy of the Pakistani Taliban group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Zabihullah Mujahid (on right) with journalist Saleem Safi

The TTP, or the Movement of the Pakistani Taliban, is active in Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. It continues to carry out terror attacks against Pakistani security forces in the Pakistani tribal region, while its fighters are believed to be based on both sides of the border.

Except for the Islamic State (ISIS), all major jihadi groups, such as Al-Qaeda affiliates and the TTP, have taken an oath of allegiance to the emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban organization. Zabihullah Mujahid was asked if the new Afghan Taliban rulers will talk to the TTP leadership and convince them to stop attacking Pakistan.

"The issue of the TTP is one that Pakistan will have to deal with, not Afghanistan. It is up to Pakistan, and Pakistani Ulema [Islamic scholars] and religious figures, not the [Afghan] Taliban, to decide on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their war and to formulate a strategy in response," Zabihullah Mujahid told journalist Saleem Safi on his television program "Jirga."

The Afghan Taliban spokesman's statement comes amid expectations in Pakistan that the Islamic Emirate will not permit the TTP to take shelter in Afghanistan, a difficult task given the mountainous nature of the Afghan provinces. On the television program, Zabihullah Mujahid also answered a range of questions on the process of government formation in Kabul.

Source: The News (Pakistan), August 29, 2021.

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