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Iran is providing arms and equipment to the Taliban in Afghanistan: Top military official

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The government of Iran has been engaged in providing arms and equipment to the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, a top Afghan military official has said.

Army Chief of Staff General, Sharif Yaftali, in an interview with the BBC, has said that Afghan army in west part of the country have found documents, showing Iran’s support to the insurgents.

Without giving further details, he said that President Ashraf Ghani raised the issue with his Iranian counterpart during his visit to Tehran last month.

In the past, Iran was accused of supply arms to the Taliban, but this time a high-rank Afghan military confirmed this. However, Tehran previously denied the allegations.

Regarding Pakistan, Yaftali said that Pakistan’s Army Chief, Qamar Javid Bajwa admitted that his country was supporting and sheltering the Taliban insurgents in the past.

He said that Bajwa assured to eliminate terror sanctuaries in quadrilateral meeting in Dushanbe that include army officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Tajikistan.

This comes as US administration in its new strategy to Afghanistan, has lambasted Pakistan, warning that Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering ‘safe havens’ to extremists.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations,” Trump said while outlining new US strategy in South Asia.

However, both the neighbors—Pakistan and Iran are making attempt to keep Afghanistan in war, aimed at preserving their national interests. In the past, Iran was also accused of fueling insurgency in the southern Helmand province in a bid to divert central government attention from water dispute between the two states.

“It has been for four years that Iran increased its support to the Taliban militant in order to keep the flame of war erupting in the province,” Helmand’s governor, Hayatullah Hayat, while briefing newsmen in Lashkaragah, the capital city, in January said.

In that time, he furthered that Iran is putting weight behind Taliban in their insurgency due to water dispute between the two countries. Iran is doing everything to divert Kabul’s attention from Helmand River water. Iran already reacted over developmental program of President Ashraf Ghani for prioritizing the Kajaki dam in Helmand and Kamal Khan Dam in Nimroz provinces.