With the withdrawal of the United States forces from Afghanistan moving well ahead of schedule, the Taliban are urging neighboring countries not to allow any U.S. military presence inside their borders. which could be used to target Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists inside of Afghanistan in the future. 

The withdrawal of U.S. troops is expected to be completed by July, well ahead of the September 11 deadline imposed by the Biden administration. However, the U.S. has stated that it will look to reposition some U.S. troops in the region to continue conducting counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan post-withdrawal.

The Taliban released a statement saying, “We are asking neighboring countries not to provide such an opportunity or allow such a move. If, God forbid, still someone allows this, this will be a historic mistake and ignominy.”

The statement called the presence of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan the “fundamental reason for regional insecurity and war,” adding that the group would “not remain silent against such a heinous and provocative act.”

The Taliban statement conveniently overlooked that the cause of the U.S. presence in the country was that 20 years ago al-Qaeda terrorists planned and trained for the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. from Afghanistan. Following the attacks, the Taliban refused to evict or turn over al-Qaeda terrorists to the U.S.

“[Our] demand [is for] others not to allow their soil and airspace [to be used] against our country, and if such a step is taken, the responsibility of any problem and its outcome will lie on those who commit such a mistake,” the statement added.

Pakistan’s Ambivalent Allegiance

Pakistan Foreign Minister Quereshi has made it clear that Pakistan will not accept any U.S. bases after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pakistan shares the largest border, 1,615 miles, with Afghanistan.

Islamabad has been accused of playing both sides of the conflict. It has simultaneously supported the Taliban while allowing the U.S. to use its airspace in the fight against them.