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Afghan Defence Minister opens new pandora box

Written by The Frontier Post

Jalil Afridi

WASHINGTON DC: Afghan Defence Minister, Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob while addressing a gathering in Kabul urged the governments of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to return those helicopters which were flown to their countries by Afghan pilots during the last days of the government of former Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani.

Maulana Yaqoob said that “we humbly request the Uzbekistan and Tajikistan governments to return our planes and helicopters.” He further said that “Although we are poor but we have our pride and integrity and therefore we can not allow other countries to have our helicopters in their countries.”

These comments of the Maulana who is the eldest son of Mullah Omer, the founder of Taliban has opened a new Pandora box, giving wide spread speculations about the role of Central Asian States in coming days. At one point there were speculations that Uzbekistan has disconnected the electricity which goes from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan. It’s is pertinent to mention here that Uzbekistan is the largest supplier of electricity to Afghanistan and the later owes a huge amount in this regard. This correspondent confirmed from Kabul that no such thing happened and that electricity was working fine in Afghanistan.

The other speculation which is ripe in the air is that the US is close to striking a deal with one of these Central Asian States with regard to providing a military base so that the US could conduct its “over the horizon” strikes.

The other speculation which is also very ripe and very much in the air is that China and Russia instructed Maulana Yaqoob to issue this statement, which obviously came out of no where because there are other far more important issues in which the Afghan leadership under the Taliban government should be busy with.

This correspondent tried to get comments from the Uzbekistan embassy in Washington DC but was not successful. Taliban Spokesperson, Sohail Shaheen while replying to this correspondent said that these things will not effect our relationship with our brotherly countries. He further said that “ IEA has good relations with Uzbekistan, not now but even in the past, the government of Uzbekistan had maintained good relations with the Political Office.

They have provided humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan for which we are grateful and they are intending to build mega projects in the country. Both Muslim countries want to live with each other in peace and brotherhood and I believe we both are able to solve this and any other issue through talks and diplomatic channels.”

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