Pakistan welcomes Taliban's desire to include Afghanistan in CPEC

06:19 PM | 6 Sep, 2021
Pakistan welcomes Taliban's desire to include Afghanistan in CPEC

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Monday hailed the Taliban’s desire to have Afghanistan included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as encouraging.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. Rashid said CPEC was an economic lifeline for Pakistan.

“Pakistan is proud of its friendship with China and if the Taliban hold similar views, then it is really good,” he added.

The interior minister made these remarks in response to a query from a journalist, who quoted the Taliban spokesperson as expressing desire and reportedly pressing for Afghanistan's inclusion in the CPEC.

The Taliban had on Saturday also described China as its "most important partner", saying Afghanistan looks to Beijing to rebuild the country and exploit its rich copper deposits as the war-ravaged country faces widespread hunger and fears of an economic collapse.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had said the group supports China's One Belt, One Road initiative that seeks to link China with Africa, Asia and Europe through an enormous network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

Quetta suicide bomber arrived from Afghanistan 

Rashid said the suicide bomber who targeted the FC checkpost a day earlier, had arrived from Afghanistan. 

Four FC personnel were martyred and 19 others were injured Sunday when a suicide bomb blast targeted an FC checkpost at Mustang Road.

"The terrorists involved in Quetta and Gwadar blasts were both from Afghanistan," Rashid revealed. He added that both the terrorists had been identified.  

The minister lashed out at India, saying that it has been defeated in Afghanistan and that it is the "only country in the region that has faced humiliation repeatedly."

Rashid shot down speculation of the presence of any refugee camp in Pakistan for Afghans, saying that such claims are "absolutely false" and part of "India's baseless propaganda."

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