US wants to destabilize whole region using terrorists in Afghanistan: Russian minister

Washington intends to use the potential of illegal armed groups in Afghanistan to destabilize the situation in the region, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of the CSTO defense ministers in Minsk on Thursday.

“Afghanistan remains a hotbed of instability. The main threat comes from illegal armed groups that have significantly strengthened their positions in that country after the Islamic movement Taliban (IEA) came to power. We believe that the United States intends to use the potential of these terrorist organizations to destabilize the situation in the region,” said Shoigu. “For this purpose, the redeployment of fighters from the controlled gangs in Middle East to Afghanistan has been organized.”

“In the future, their infiltration into neighboring countries is possible for committing terrorist acts,” Shoigu said.

The official stressed on the importance of coordination of efforts on the Afghan track and to pay due attention to joint exercises.

Shoigu noted that “instead of working for the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the hasty withdrawal from it, the NATO countries are trying in various ways to restore their military presence in the Central Asian region.”

“We regard this as a direct threat to stability there and in the CSTO space in general,” the Russian defense minister said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Thursday that terrorist attacks increased in Afghanistan after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover in August 2021.

“In the 600 days to the leadup to the fall of Kabul, there were a total of five terrorist incidents in Pakistan. 600 days post the fall of Kabul, that number went up to 50. Now this is a genuine concern for us,” Zardari told a Pakistan Senate committee.

He said that if the economic situation continues to deteriorate in Afghanistan, there will be refugee exodus and if security threat emanating from Afghanistan is not taken seriously by the IEA and the international community then “this is a disaster waiting to happen.”

This comes as IEA officials have repeatedly said that they will not allow Afghanistan soil to be used against any other country.