Afghan Taliban: Alleged Involvement of Pakistanis in Recent Attacks

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In a recent development, the Taliban authorities in Kabul have alleged that dozens of militants belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group from Pakistan have been either killed or captured in Afghanistan over the past year. This accusation comes in response to Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir’s statement regarding the involvement of Afghan nationals in terrorist incidents within Pakistan, which he stated had a negative impact on regional peace and stability.

The Foreign Office had also released a statement prior to the COAS’s remarks, confirming the role of Afghan terrorists in the recent attack on Zhob cantonment last month. This escalation of tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan has primarily been fueled by a surge in suicide attacks in Pakistan, with Islamabad claiming that Afghan nationals frequently assist these militants.

Following the statements made by the army chief and the Foreign Office, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Afghan government, revealed in an interview with AFP that in the past year, “our forces in Afghanistan” have eliminated 18 Pakistani citizens who were members of IS and involved in various bombings and attacks. He further stated that several others are currently detained in Afghan prisons.

This revelation builds upon the statement issued by Taliban authorities late on Tuesday, in which they asserted that they should not be held responsible for any security failures in the region. They emphasized that the government of Afghanistan has strengthened its security measures instead of blaming Pakistan. Notably, this is the first time that the Taliban authorities have publicly accused Pakistani nationals of being involved in attacks within Afghanistan.

Contrarily, Islamabad has consistently maintained that militants carrying out attacks in Pakistan are operating from sanctuaries in Afghanistan and receive assistance from Afghan citizens. This is contrast to the Taliban authorities’ pledge to prevent Afghan territory from being used by foreign militants to stage attacks abroad, which was a crucial element of the agreement they reached with the United States regarding the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

Last week, Afghan state media broadcasted a speech by the Afghan defense minister, warning security units that engaging in warfare outside Afghanistan is not considered religiously sanctioned “jihad,” but rather a forbidden act according to Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada.

These developments highlight the complex dynamics and ongoing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, as both countries struggle to address security challenges within their borders while balancing their regional relations.

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