The Taliban on Monday, May 18, denied the claims doing rounds on Twitter that it will side with Pakistan and wage war against India over the issue of Kashmir. Issuing a statement in this regard, the group clarified that it does not intend to get involved in the matters pertaining to the valley.
The response by the Taliban came in after a series of tweets stated that its spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has refused to develop friendly relations with India citing the ongoing Kashmir dispute. "Friendship between Islamic Emirate and India is impossible. Islamic Emirate will capture Kashmir from infidels," said a tweet that was attributed to Mujahid.
Furthermore, a top official at the Taliban's Qatar-based political office was claimed to have said that India has implemented its negative policy in Afghanistan during the past 40 years by cooperating with those who are corrupt.
Taliban clears its stand
Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Taliban's political office, took to Twitter to counter the misinformation. "The statement published in the media about Taliban joining Jihad in Kashmir is wrong. The policy of the Islamic Emirate is clear that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries," said Suhail.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, the Taliban was propelled to issue a clarification after New Delhi worked the backchannels to confirm the group's approach towards India.
Also, while conversing with a news channel earlier this month, Suhail had stated, "Based on our national interest and mutual respect, we would like to have positive relations with neighboring countries including India and welcome their contribution and cooperation in the reconstruction of future Afghanistan."
Afghan government supports India
Soon after the false tweets gained traction, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (MoFA) said that its relations with India are within "international frameworks and based on mutual respect".
"India is one of the biggest donor countries and has helped Afghanistan in development and reconstruction areas, we appreciate their cooperation. We expect India and other neighboring countries to play a significant role in the Afghan peace process," said Gran Hewad, Spokesperson, MoFA.