Taliban Rejects Al-Qaeda Presence in Afghanistan

Taliban spokesman says they will not allow any group including al-Qaeda to exploit and use Afghanistan’s territory against other nations.

Taliban has rejected al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan weeks after the Afghan security forces during an operation killed a senior leader of the network Abu Mohsin al-Misri in a Taliban-controlled area in Andar district of central Ghazni province.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the Taliban will not allow any group including al-Qaeda to exploit and use Afghanistan’s territory against other nations.

Referring to the ongoing efforts for peace in Doha, the Taliban’s spokesman said that the Afghan government should clarify its stance on the negotiations if it is not ready to accept the US-Taliban peace deal as the foundation for the peace talks.

“Right now, there is no al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan,” Naeem said in an interview with TOLOnews in Qatar.

“They should clearly say it if they do not accept the agreement between the United States and the Islamic emirate,” Naeem said.

He also levelled allegations on some countries and intelligence agencies in the region of supporting Daesh. However, Naeem did not mention the names of those countries.

“The activities that are underway and they link it to us is part of the conspiracy of the Kabul administration (term used for the Afghan government by the Taliban) and intelligence agencies of the region,” said Mohammad Naeem.

On the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, the Taliban spokesman said that the main cause of violence is related to the large scale operations by the Afghan security forces and attacks on those Taliban who were recently released from prison under the US-Taliban peace agreement.

On October 17, a senior UN official said that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has maintained close ties with the Taliban despite the Taliban’s assurance to the United States to cut ties with the group.

“Senior figures remain in Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of armed operatives,” the coordinator of the United Nations monitoring team for Daesh, al-Qaida and the Taliban, Edmund Fitton-Brown, said.

“There are credible evidence that shows that al-Qaeda exists in Afghanistan,” said Hafiz Abdul Qayoum, the former governor of Nuristan.