Amid deteriorating India-Pakistan relations in the wake of Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Taliban has issued a statement saying ‘rift over Kashmir should not be linked with Afghanistan’. Urging both India and Pakistan to not turn Afghanistan into theater of competition, it issued a statement saying, “ Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the theatre of competition between other countries.”
It appealed India and Pakistan to refrain from resorting to steps that can create "violence and complications" in the region, reported News Agency Anadolu.
Taliban’s reaction has come after leader of opposition in Pakistan’s national assembly, Shahbaz Sharif said, “What kind of a deal is this that the Afghans enjoy and celebrate peace in Kabul, but in Kashmir, blood is shed? No, this is not acceptable for us.”
However, Zahid Nasrullah Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador in Afghanistan said, “The issue of Kashmir has nothing to do with the violence in Afghanistan and it is unfortunately still unresolved, despite the so many sacrifices and acts of human rights abuses against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
China has also expressed serious concerns over the ongoing situation following the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. The response came in the bilateral meeting between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Earlier, India scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a significant autonomy. The central government also divided the state in two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir with its own legislature and Ladakh with legislature.
In the aftermath, India asked Pakistan to review its decision to downgrade diplomatic ties after its decisions on Kashmir. This comes a day after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and suspended bilateral trade.