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Communist Party of Pakistan warns Taliban victory may boost jihadist groups across the region

COMMUNIST PARTY OF PAKISTAN general secretary Imdad Qazi warned today of the serious consequences of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, which he said would boost jihadist groups across the region.

“This victory of the Taliban will give courage to their followers in Pakistan,” he said, calling for the country to develop “a serious defence strategy.

“At the same time, the democratic and progressive forces must reorganise their strategies in view of this situation,” Mr Qazi said.

Groups including Isis and the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (Etim), which operates in China, will gain confidence following events in Afghanistan, he said.

Mr Qazi accused the United States of bringing the Taliban back to power as part of “the great game of imperialism,” in a move he said was backed by Pakistan.

Earlier this week Beijing accused the US of double standards regarding its commitment to fighting global terrorism, urging it to reconsider its position on al-Qaida ally Etim. This year the Trump administration removed the group from its list of proscribed organisations in what was described as cynical political manoeuvring as part of the US’s cold war against China.

The jihadist group is responsible for a wave of terror attacks in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region has sent units to fight alongside al-Qaida in Syria.

For China’s part, Beijing has called on the Taliban not to allow Afghan soil to be used as a base to target Xinjiang. In a meeting earlier this month, Taliban spokesman Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar promised to prevent Etim from operating inside the country.

Taliban forces swept to power in Afghanistan in a matter of days, with Western-trained government soldiers offering little resistance.

US President Joe Biden has faced an angry backlash as he continues to insist that he took the right course of action in the US’s sudden withdrawal, despite the unfolding chaos.

But the US military has been accused of a blatant disregard for human life, summed up most poignantly by images of the airlifting of dogs that had served in the country — while leaving their Afghan handlers at the mercy of the Taliban.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday that the US leaves chaos and turbulence wherever it goes.

“[Joe Biden] says that US mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been about nation-building, and it’s true,” she said. “The role of the US lies in destruction, not construction.”

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