A faction from the Afghan Taliban have pledged their support to Pakistan in any US-led plot to attack their neighbour.
The declaration was announced by Maulana Samiul Haq – the chief of the Hamiat Ulama-i-Islam faction of the Afghan Taliban.
After the gathering, the Ittehad Ulama-i- Afghanistan, declared their support for Pakistan against any aggression from the Trump Administration.
Under the banner of “Ittehad Ulama-i-Afghanistan” a meeting was held led by Mufti Mehmood Zakri, which brought together both the Afghan Taliban and Emarat Islami Afghanistan.
It was reported that the meeting was attended by several prominent figures of different Islamic groups. Although the groups are not officially part of the Taliban, many of the attendees do fall under the group’s wider umbrella.
Last August, President Donald Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s support for the Afghani Taliban. He said: “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting.”
Last month, President Trump threatened to slash aid to Pakistan as a punishment for giving sanctuary to “Islamist” groups such as the Taliban.
Washington’s relationship with Islamabad has been deteriorating since the Obama administration.
This is due to a series of incidents including the 2011 US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad which revealing that the infamous Al Qaeda leader had been allegedly hiding in plain sight of Pakistani authorities.
As early as 2012, the US labelled the Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation.
The US’ frustration over the Haqqani’s existence in Pakistan has been building up for years and worsened after the truck bomb in Kabul in May.
For this reason, neoconservative think tanks stated that less aid may not be enough to pressure Pakistan to take what the US deem to be “necessary measures” to thwart the Taliban.
The alternative plan suggested was to broaden a drone campaign delving deeper into Pakistan targeting “militants” blamed for attacks in Afghanistan, including Haqqani fighters.
This solution was not welcomed by Pakistan.
Just last week, Pakistan’s army chief of staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa publicly criticised “unilateral actions” such as drone strikes, describing them to be “counterproductive and against (the) spirit of ongoing cooperation and intelligence sharing being diligently undertaken by Pakistan.”