The Taliban is confident the UK and other nations will pay reparations for the war in Afghanistan, according to reports.
The Islamist regime, which took control in August, is asking for billions of pounds from governments worldwide involved in the 20-year conflict, the Mirror newspaper reported.
Noor Mohommad Mutawakel, from the Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said: ‘Britain is ready to pay us war reparations, and we welcome that. Other countries involved in the war must also be prepared to pay.’
But a Whitehall source was not certain the UK would pay the amount requested, adding: ‘We don’t know what they’re going to ask for yet but it could be in the billions across everyone involved. Whether we pay it or not is a different matter.’
The Taliban request comes as Afghanistan is experiencing economic problems after the withdrawal of foreign troops.
The country’s GDP is forecast to shrink by another 15% by 2023.
The United States government is withholding billions in assets and other foreign governments have also frozen assets following the Taliban takeover.
Col Richard Kemp, ex-commander of UK troops in Afghanistan, described the reparations request from the Taliban as an ‘outrage’.
He said: ‘The British government should not even contemplate paying a penny to these bloodthirsty killers.
‘This will be the first of many demands from a regime capable of murdering, torturing and subjugating the population – and driving the country to ruin.”
Former Army intelligence officer Col Philip Ingram admitted the UK was in a ‘very difficult position’ but did not think that any country should pay reparations to the Taliban.
VELOXNEWS.co.uk has contacted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for a comment.
Meanwhile, The Taliban has refused to cooperate with the US to contain Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Political spokesperson Suhail Shaheen ruled out working alongside Washington as representatives were to meet this weekend in Doha, Qatar.
It came hours after ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide blast that tore through a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 50 and leaving dozens hurt.
The meetings in Doha will be the first time the US and the Taliban have come face to face since the ill-fated withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in August.
Officials from both sides said the talks would include reining in extremist groups and evacuating foreign nationals and Afghans from the war-torn country.
But the Taliban insist it can deal with IS militants single-handedly.
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