Turkmenistan supplying arms to Taliban: Ismail Khan

Thursday, 09 March 2017 18:55 Written by  Read 111 times

Former water and energy minister Ismail Khan on Wednesday claimed Turkmenistan had relations with the Taliban and was supplying weapons to the group.

 

The influential former jihadi leader told a press conference in the western city of Herat that weapons were being supplied to the insurgents from across the border in Turkmenistan, citing reports he had received.

The former Herat governor said he had shared the matter with the Turkmen foreign minister and had urged him to resolve it.

“I urged the Turkmenistan foreign minister that the weapons to Herat are supplied from Turkmenistan, it should be paid serious attention.”

Ismail Khan said there were only two security posts along the border between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The two posts were insufficient to protect the border, he added.

He criticized the government for protecting and escorting motorcades of two Taliban commanders Mullah Nangyali and Mullah Niazi while the two commanders still spearheaded clashes with security forces. “Dealing this way with Taliban is dangerous.”

However, the Turkmenistan consulate in Herat City in a message to reporters rejected Ismail Khan’s claims as ‘baseless.’

The governor’s spokesman, Farhad Jilani, said the Afghan security forces had defeated the insurgents in parts of the province. He said it was untrue that the government was supporting two rebel commanders in Shindand district.

The two commanders are said to be linked to Mullah Rassoul group, a splinter Taliban group that parted ways with the main group after developing differences over the insurgency leadership.

Herat shares the bulk of Afghanistan’s 740 kilometers border with Turkmenistan.