Kashmir issue should not be linked to Afghanistan: Taliban
Kabul, Aug 9 (IANS) The Taliban on Thursday said the India-Pakistan rift over Kashmir should not be linked with the situation in Afghanistan.
"Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the theatre of competition between other countries," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said in a statement, reported Anadolu news agency.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul on Thursday clarified that the India-Pakistan rift over Kashmir would not affect the peace drive in Afghanistan.
Addressing a news conference, Zahid Nasrullah Khan, ambassador of Pakistan, said: "The issue of Kashmir has nothing to do with the violence in Afghanistan and it is unfortunately still unresolved, despite the so many sacrifices and acts of human rights abuses against the people of Jammu and Kashmir."
The Indian government on Monday revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir, inviting an angry reaction from Pakistan which has expelled the Indian envoy.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan has said that a new 15-member government-led team, consisting of politicians, civil rights activists and representatives of ethnic groups, will soon "meet face to face" with the Taliban, seeking to achieve lasting peace in the war-torn country.
Afghanistan's Charge d'Affaires in India, Tahir Qadiry, told reporters in New Delhi that the team will also have "women members".