Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of supplying thousands of explosives to the Taliban

NEW DELHI: Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has accused Pakistan of supplying thousands of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Taliban to carry out attacks even as peace talks between Taliban and the Afghan government are on the verge of resumption.

Presenting a report at a security related meeting over the weekend, Saleh, a former intelligence chief, alleged that Pakistan was supplying thousands of IEDs to Afghan extremists, according to people aware of the matter. He said such IEDs were not available either in Afghanistan or the free market and held Pakistan responsible for supplies of such IEDs.

Afghanistan has recently witnessed a sharp increase in terrorist attacks across the country despite ongoing negotiations between Taliban and the government. The Afghan security establishment has long held Pakistani Army and Inter-Services Intelligence for abetting terrorism across the border through Taliban. Saleh himself has been at the receiving end of allegedly Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

Last month, Afghanistan’s foreign ministry had issued a statement expressing regret and concern about videos showing senior Taliban leaders meeting their followers and Taliban fighters in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Saleh’s former organisation – Afghanistan’s spy agency, National Directorate of Security – has been able extract critical information from the 10 Chinese spies caught in Afghanistan, said people in the know. The Chinese spies were in close contact with the terrorist organisation, the Haqqani Network, and were allegedly gathering information on Uyghurs living in Kunar and Badakhshan provinces of Afghanistan. The mission of the spies was reportedly to eliminate Uyghur leaders based in Afghanistan.

Li Yangyang, a member of the Chinese spy agency MSS, had been operating in Afghanistan’s Kart-e-Char since last July, said the people. NDS teams recovered arms, ammunition and Ketamine powder – a recreational drug – and other incriminating items from the Chinese spies, they said, adding that the Chinese spies regularly met field commanders of various Taliban factions and recruited informants among the Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists.

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