Taliban rejects Iran claim leaders of ISIL sent to Afghanistan

Foreign ministry spokesperson calls on Tehran to share any intelligence they posses so Taliban forces can take action.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, from the Taliban
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman for the interim foreign ministry, says no one will be allowed to use Afghanistan against other nations [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

The Taliban has rejected a claim by Iran’s foreign minister that the leaders of the ISIL (ISIS) armed group had been sent to Afghanistan.

“If Iran has any intelligence that Daesh members have been transferred to Afghanistan, we hope [they] share it so the Afghan security forces can take the necessary steps,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said on Twitter on Saturday using a common Arabic name for the ISIL group.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has meticulously fought against Daesh both during & after the end of the occupation,” he added.

Balkhi also urged Iranian authorities to take a constructive stance on economic, political, and social issues.

Moreover, Balkhi asserted the Taliban government would “not allow anyone” to threaten the security of the country, “or use our territory against others”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told state television in an interview last week that the leaders of ISIL had been sent to Afghanistan from Iraq, Syria, and Libya in recent months. “This is one of the challenges facing the Taliban,” he added.

An affiliate of ISIL – Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) – has been posing the biggest threat to the Taliban’s authority, claiming responsibility for several attacks.

Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded, including foreigners and members of the minority Hazara community, in attacks carried out by the ISKP in a bid to undermine the Taliban government.

The armed group has also killed Taliban administration officials, including the governor of the northern province of Balkh in an attack on his office in March and the acting governor of the northeastern province of Badakhshan this month.

The Taliban administration has launched a crackdown on members of ISKP, raiding its hideouts in several provinces.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies