The Taliban’s interim Defence Minister Mullah Yaqub on Sunday has claimed that the US drones were entering the war-torn country through Pakistan, the media reported.
While narrating the one-year performance of the ministry alongside the Army Chief Mullah Fasih Uddin and the spokesperson of the ministry at a press conference in Kabul, Yaqub said: “We hadn’t caught all routes of the drones but our intelligence reported that the US drones were entering through Pakistan.”
“We demand that Pakistan does not allow its air space, to be used by the US he said, adding that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) radar system was destroyed when the Americans evacuated the country last year in August,” Express Tribune reported citing Yaqub.
The defence minister also stated that the number of IEA’s national army reached 150,000 soldiers with eight border groups and each consisting of 3,000 personnel.
Yaqub further demanded all neighbouring countries return their helicopters and aeroplanes and also added that no one would be allowed to station their defence items on their soil.
While answering questions he said that the investigation of the killing of Al-Qaeda Chief Ayman-al-Zawahiri, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul on July 31, is still underway and is yet to be concluded.
“The US is grossly violating Afghanistan’s sovereignty and the Doha agreement,” he added, Express Tribune reported.
Previously, the Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told the media that the war-ravaged country had registered its protest with the US government against using their drones in Afghanistan’s airspace.
The Al-Qaeda chief’s killing in a US drone strike indicates that the US has over the horizon capability to take out high-value targets and importantly without having any US footprints on the ground in Afghanistan.
His killing has raised questions about how the CIA executed the operation. The CIA after the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces has no basis inside Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan, where the US operated after the 9/11 attacks.
There were speculations that Pakistan might have played a role in taking out the al-Qaeda chief. However, a government source strongly rejected some rumours that the drone might have flown from Pakistan and that the US used the country’s airspace, Express Tribune reported.