Akhunzada calls cross-border attacks “haram” amid tension with Islamabad

Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban supreme leader, has issued a decree calling cross-border attacks “haram” or forbidden amid escalating tensions between Kabul and Islamabad.

Akhunzada’s decree forbids Taliban fighters from carrying out attacks outside Afghanistan, including Pakistan, and the matter was discussed during a three-day meeting with Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, in late July in Kabul, Voice of America quoted a Pakistani official stating in a recent report.

The Pakistani official revealed that Durrani had urged senior Taliban officials in the meeting to announce the decree publicly in a bid to deter TTP and its local supporters from raging attacks inside Pakistan.

Taliban’s response was that they had circulated the decree among their security and intelligence agencies.

However, some details of Akhunzada’s decree were recently alluded by Taliban’s Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqub when audio of his speech was aired by the Taliban’s state TV station.

“If someone still leaves Afghanistan intending to wage jihad abroad, it cannot be considered jihad anymore. If Mujahideen continue to fight despite orders from the Amir to stop, it is not jihad but rather hostility,” Yaqub said, using Akhunzada’s official title.

This comes after Pakistan criticized that citizens of Afghanistan are involved in Pakistan’s insecurity and that Islamabad has shared its evidence with the Taliban.

Last week, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that citizens of Afghanistan were involved in July 13 attack on the Pakistan Army’s Zhob Garrison in Northern Balochistan that killed 12 Pakistani soldiers.