Defense relations with India to be strengthened once diplomatic ties secure: Defense Minister

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Acting Minister of Defense of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said this week that once firm diplomatic ties have been established with India, the new Afghan government will look at securing defense relations with New Delhi.

“Before starting defense relations, the first condition is to have good diplomatic relations and to advance them. When we have sincere political and diplomatic relations, we are ready for defense relations as well,” Mujahid told India’s News18.

He also welcomed the humanitarian assistance that India is providing to Afghanistan and said the IEA has “high expectations” of India going forward given the help provided in the past.

“We have high expectations; Because India has helped Afghanistan a lot in the past. When our government was formed, India also provided humanitarian aid and helped us, which is exemplary. We appreciate India’s support and hope that India will continue to help the Afghan people.”

He also urged India to reopen its embassy in Kabul.

On Pakistan, Mujahid said there are no serious issues between Kabul and Islamabad.

“Our relations with Pakistan on the Durand Line and on a regional basis are political in nature. Inshallah, our relations are good and there are no major issues between us. On the issue of boundaries, I would mention that both countries are separate, and issues are bound to come up as is evident with other countries. However, these incidents are not serious enough to cause a disruption in our relations,” he said.

He further said that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against of any country. According to him, the IEA’s ties with al-Qaeda have also deteriorated since the US invasion of Afghanistan.

“Our relations with al-Qaeda broke when America started its attack on Afghanistan and there is no new association with al-Qaeda.