Taliban Say They Won’t Work With U.S. On Shared Islamic State Threat

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban on Saturday dominated out cooperation with the US to comprise extremist teams in Afghanistan, staking out an uncompromising place on a key concern forward of the primary direct talks between the previous foes since America withdrew from the nation in August.

Senior Taliban officers and U.S. representatives are to fulfill Saturday and Sunday in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Officers from each side have stated points embody reining in extremist teams and the evacuation of international residents and Afghans from the nation. The Taliban have signaled flexibility on evacuations.

Nonetheless, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen instructed The Related Press there can be no cooperation with Washington on containing the more and more lively Islamic State group in Afghanistan. IS has taken accountability for a variety of latest assaults, together with a suicide bombing Friday that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens as they prayed in a mosque within the northern metropolis of Kunduz.

“We’re capable of deal with Daesh independently,” Shaheen stated, when requested whether or not the Taliban would work with the U.S. to comprise the Islamic State affiliate. He used an Arabic acronym for IS.

IS has carried out relentless assaults on the nation’s Shiites since rising in jap Afghanistan in 2014. It is usually seen as the fear group that poses the best risk to the US for its potential to stage assaults on American targets.

The weekend conferences in Doha are the primary since U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan in late August, ending a 20-year navy presence because the Taliban overran the nation. The U.S. has made it clear the talks will not be a preamble to recognition.

The talks additionally come on the heels of two days of inauspicious discussions between Pakistani officers and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Islamabad that targeted on Afghanistan. Pakistani officers urged the U.S. to have interaction with Afghanistan’s new rulers and launch billions of {dollars} in worldwide funds to stave off an financial meltdown.

Pakistan additionally had a message for the Taliban, urging them to change into extra inclusive and take note of human rights and minority ethnic and spiritual teams.

Afghanistan’s Shiite clerics assailed the Taliban rulers following Friday’s assault, demanding better safety at their locations of worship. The IS affiliate claimed responsibility and identified the bomber as a Uyghur Muslim. The declare stated the assault focused each Shiites and the Taliban for his or her purported willingness to expel Uyghurs to fulfill calls for from China. It was the deadliest assault since U.S. and NATO troops left Afghanistan on Aug. 30.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program on the U.S.-based Wilson Heart, stated Friday’s assault might be a harbinger of extra violence. A lot of the Uyghur militants belong to the East Turkestan Islamic Motion, which has discovered a secure haven within the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan for many years.

“If the (IS) declare is true, China’s considerations about terrorism in (Afghanistan)—to which the Taliban claims to be receptive—will improve,” he tweeted following the assault.

In the meantime, the Taliban started busing Afghans who had fled from the insurgents’ blitz takeover in August and had been residing in tents in a Kabul park again to their properties within the nation’s north, the place threats from IS are mounting following the Kunduz assault.

A Taliban official in control of refugees, Mohammed Arsa Kharoti, stated there are as much as 1.3 million Afghans displaced from previous wars and that the Taliban lack funds to arrange the return dwelling for all. He stated the Taliban have organized the return of 1,005 displaced households to their properties up to now.

Shokria Khanm, who had spent a number of weeks in one of many tents within the park and was ready Saturday to board the Taliban-organized bus again dwelling to Kunduz, stated she isn’t involved concerning the rising IS risk within the northern province.

“A minimum of there we’ve 4 partitions,” she stated however added that she was nervous concerning the future after preventing between the Taliban and Afghan authorities troops had destroyed her home.

“Winter is on the best way. There isn’t any firewood. We’d like water and meals,” she stated.

In the course of the Doha talks, U.S. officers can even search to carry the Taliban to their dedication to permit People and different international nationals to depart Afghanistan, together with Afghans who as soon as labored for the U.S. navy or authorities and different Afghan allies, a U.S. official stated. The official spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the official was not licensed to talk on the report concerning the conferences.

The Biden administration has fielded questions and complaints concerning the sluggish tempo of U.S.-facilitated evacuations from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan for the reason that U.S. withdrawal.

Related Press writers Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington and Samya Kullab in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.

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