Taliban Warn Pakistan Against Targeting Militants in Afghanistan

Taliban Warn Pakistan Against Targeting Militants

In Islamabad.
Taliban leaders in Afghanistan have urged Pakistan to officially voice their “concerns” about cross-border terrorism rather than making unsubstantiated claims in the media.

According to Pakistani officials, the proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, and militants associated with other extremist groups, purportedly from Afghan safe havens, are responsible for a recent spike in terrorist assaults.

The charges were denied by Taliban top spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Thursday, and he reaffirmed that his government does not permit anyone to use Afghanistan’s land as a weapon against another nation.

In his statement, Mujahid used the formal name of his two-year-old administration in Kabul: “If there is any worry about this, it should be expressed directly with the Islamic Emirate instead of circulating fruitless accusations in the media, which are not in the interest of both countries and people.”

The denial was made a day after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other officials claimed that since the Taliban took over the nation, anti-state terrorists had established safe havens inside Afghanistan and increased cross-border operations.

On July 31, 2023, relatives and mourners attend the funeral prayer for those who perished in the Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, after being killed by a suicide bomber on Sunday.

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Sharif demanded that the de facto Afghan government take “real steps to prevent the exploitation of their country for international terrorism.”

In the northwest border town of Khar, a suicide bomber assaulted a pre-election rally on Sunday, killing 63 Pakistanis and wounding numerous others. The bombing was allegedly carrie out by the Islamic State Khorasan Province, or IS-K, an Afghan affiliate of the terrorist organization.

The TTP allegedly used heavily equipped Afghan Taliban fighters to attack a military base in the southwesterly city of Zhob last month, according to Pakistani authorities. In the hours-long gunfights that followed the raid on July 12, at least nine soldiers and five attackers were kill.

Three of them,” according to a statement from the foreign ministry, were Afghan citizens who resided in the Afghan border province of Kandahar. It stated that Islamabad had requested that the Afghan Embassy collect the bodies of the terrorists who had been kill.

“Asking for proof is a convenient defense. When questioned by VOA on Thursday about the Taliban’s assertions that they were forbidding the use of Afghan territory for cross-border assaults, a senior official from the Pakistani foreign ministry responded, “What about Zhob attackers?”

Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August 2021, when all American and NATO soldiers chaotically left after nearly 20 years of involvement in the Afghan conflict, Pakistani officials have recorded a 70% rise in TTP-led terrorist attacks.

Taliban Warn Pakistan Against Targeting Militants

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated on Wednesday that statistics “indicate that Pakistan has suffered a quantifiable surge in [terrorism] since the fall of Kabul [to the Taliban]”. In the Pakistani capital, Zardari told reporters, “Unfortunately, weapons left behind by U.S. and NATO forces have now ended up in the hands of terrorists and criminal organizations.”

Almost 450 individuals have been kille by militant attacks in Pakistan in the first seven months of 2023, including members of the security services. More than 120 officers and soldiers have been kill this year alone, the Pakistani military has announced.

It is well known that the TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, is a branch and close ally of the Afghan Taliban. The United States has it on its list of international terrorist groups.

Up to 6,000 TTP fighters are operating out of Afghanistan, according to a study published by the UN late last month, and the Taliban’s control has “emboldened” them. According to the study, it “aspires to reclaim control of territory within Pakistan” and is “gaining momentum in its activities against that nation.”

The U.N. report state that, as part of the Taliban’s efforts to contain the organization in response to pressure from the Pakistani government, “some TTP elements were transferre away from the border area in June.” It issued a warning that if the TTP maintained a secure operational base in Afghanistan, it might develop into a regional menace.

Taliban Warn Pakistan Against Targeting Militants

On Friday, Pakistan’s military leader warned the Afghan Taliban that failure to stop harboring terrorists who plan cross-border operations from Afghanistan would result in a “effective response” by his forces.

The army leader, Gen. Asim Munir, made the strong statements following two insurgent strikes this week that left 12 Pakistani soldiers dead in the nation’s bordering Afghanistan Balochistan region.

Munir paid respect to the deceased soldiers at a military gathering held on Friday in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. During the strikes on Wednesday, seven terrorists were also kille by troops retaliating with fire.

Both the radical Islamic State organization and the Pakistani Taliban, a different terrorist organization that is also an affiliate of the Afghan Taliban, are present in Balochistan.

On May 7, 2023, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the newly appointed Afghan Foreign Minister by the Taliban, meets with General Asim Munir, the head of the Pakistani Army.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the newly appointed Afghan foreign minister, talks with General Asim Munir, the head of the Pakistani army, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in May. Public Relations for Interservices via AP
However, one of the strikes on Wednesday was claime by the recently establishe militant organization Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan. In the Zhob area, that attack claimed the lives of nine soldiers. The perpetrators of the other incident, which killed three soldiers in the Sui district, remain unknown.

The comments made by the Pakistani general were not immediately addresse by the Taliban-led administration in Kabul.

Taliban Warn Pakistan Against Targeting Militants

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According to a report by Munir, the Pakistani military is extremely concerned about the “safe havens and liberty of action” the Pakistani Taliban have in Afghanistan. He stated that he anticipates the Afghan Taliban will uphold their end of a 2020 deal with Washington prohibiting any terror group from utilizing Afghan territory for strikes.

These “intolerable attacks would draw an effective response,” he warned if they didn’t.

Local Baluch separatists also have a significant presence in gas-rich Baluchistan, along with the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS fighters.And Nationalists have been conducting a low-level insurgency in the province for the past twenty years. They began an uprising for independence after first demanding a larger portion of the provincial resources.

The majority of the assaults on Pakistani troops and police in the province have been blame on the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, and the Baluch separatists.

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