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Fighting abroad not jihad: Afghan acting defence minister

The Taliban’s interim Defence Minister Mullah Yaqub has said that if someone goes outside of Afghanistan with the intention of jihad, his work is not called jihad, Tolo News reported on Saturday.

“If the Amir explicitly prohibits Mujahideen from engaging in combat and they still persist, the resulting battle would not be classified as jihad,” he said during a speech to Taliban commanders.

“The Amir’s orders are binding,” stressed Yaqoob, adding that any individual leaving Afghanistan with the explicit purpose of pursuing jihad would not be labelled as engaging in true Jihad.

Furthermore, he added, if the fighters defy Amir’s restrictions on entering battle and proceed regardless, the action would not be regarded as jihad.

Read more: Kabul refuses to take action against TTP, urges Pakistan to pursue dialogue

The acting defence minister underscored the importance of refraining from actions that could potentially undermine the achievements made by the interim government thus far.

The statement came as Pakistan presses the interim Afghan government to take action against the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Islamabad has blamed the terrorist sanctuaries across the border for the surge in terrorist attacks. It has been repeatedly stating that the banned TTP and its affiliates have been operating from Afghanistan with impunity.

The interim Afghan government has denied this and insisted that it would not allow Afghan soil to be used against any country.

Pakistan recently sent its special envoy to convey a strong message to the Afghan government. But sources said the visit of Ambassador Asif Durrani could not make any headway as the Afghan Taliban were adamant that Pakistan must talk to the TTP.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari indicated that Pakistan might, as a last resort, take action inside Afghanistan to deal with the terrorist threat emanating from the neighbouring country.

He said that there was an increase in the terrorist incidents after the fall of Kabul. The latest arms and ammunition left behind by the foreign forces had fallen into the hands of terrorist outfits and criminal organisations, and even with the dacoits which posed a challenge to the government, he added.

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