Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday appealed to the Taliban to “spare the Muslims of India”, ANI reported. Naqvi’s statement came soon a spokesperson of the insurgent group told BBC that it has the right to raise its voice for Muslims in Kashmir.
Naqvi said that India follows the Constitution, which guarantees inclusive development and seeks everyone’s co-operation.
“I appeal to them [Taliban] with folded hands that spare the Muslims of India,” ANI quoted the minister as saying. “Here worshippers praying in mosques are not attacked with bullets and bombs. Here girls are not stopped from going to school, their heads and legs are not cut off.”
Earlier, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told BBC that the group intends to raise its voice for Muslims in Kashmir. “As Muslims, we also have a right to raise our voice for Muslims in Kashmir, India or any other country,” he had said.
Shaheen also told the channel that the Taliban “had no policy” of launching armed operations against any country.
However, top Taliban leader Anas Haqqani said in an interview to News18 on September 1 that the Taliban will not interfere in Kashmir.
“Kashmir is not part of our jurisdiction and interference is against policy,” he had said. “How can we go against our policy? It is clear we will not interfere.”
Last week, Neelam Irshad Sheikh, the spokesperson of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the ruling party in the country, told a news channel that the Taliban would extend help in liberating Kashmir. Former Pakistani diplomat Hussain Haqqani shared a clip of Sheikh making the statement.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15, entering the presidential palace in capital Kabul and ending its insurgent offensive that had ripped through the country in 10 days.
On August 31, India’s Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s political office in Doha. This was the first official meeting between an Indian diplomat and the Taliban since the insurgent group took over Afghanistan.