Amidst doubts in the Taliban’s commitment to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the group has asked its members to avoid harboring foreign fighters and not allow them to join their ranks.
“All heads and mujahedeen are directed to avoid arbitrary move to bring in foreign nationals into their ranks or harbor them,” the Taliban said in a statement, a copy of which was seen by TOLOnews on Tuesday.
The group warns its fighters that anyone who makes such an attempt will be removed from their assignments, their group will be dissolved, “and will be referred to the military affairs commission for further punishment.”
The Taliban has been under criticism by Afghan and US officials for keeping their ties with terrorist groups, particularly al-Qaeda. The Taliban has denied its relations with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
“We believe that the top leadership of al-Qaeda is still under Taliban protection,” a UN official, Edmund Fitton-Brown, said earlier this month.
According to the UN monitoring team’s report in January, there are 200 to 500 al-Qaeda fighters across about 11 Afghan provinces.
The Taliban has committed in the Doha agreement to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The group has also vowed to reduce violence. However, Afghan and US officials have said that violence remains “too high” in the country despite the ongoing efforts for peace.
The Taliban's move comes as the peace negotiators of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban met in Doha after 36 days on Monday evening in which they agreed to continue their meetings on the agenda of the talks.