Pakistan Condemns Afghan Taliban’s Inaction against TTP Attacks

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Following a surge in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, believed to have been orchestrated by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with support from Afghanistan, the Pakistani government and security establishment have expressed their frustration and impatience with the Afghan Taliban regime.

The recent terrorist attack in Balochistan, resulting in the highest single-day death toll of 12 soldiers, has served as a catalyst for a significant shift in the perception of the Pakistani security establishment. It has become increasingly vocal about the tacit support provided to militant groups within Pakistan by the Afghan Taliban regime. The growing anger and impatience within the security circles may lead to stringent defensive measures, potentially straining the already fragile relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In addition to the security establishment, political leaders in Pakistan have also voiced their concerns about the terrorist situation in the country. The security establishment, which traditionally refrained from commenting directly on the situation, denounced the safe havens and freedom of action enjoyed by TTP in Afghanistan. The military’s statement, in particular, highlighted the Afghan Taliban’s inaction against counterterrorism efforts, indicating the mounting frustration within their ranks.

The defense minister of Pakistan criticized the Taliban regime for neglecting its responsibilities as a neighboring country and for failing to uphold the counterterrorism commitments made in the Doha peace agreement. Although he did not explicitly mention hot pursuit operations across the border, he emphasized that the situation cannot continue, suggesting that some form of counteraction may be imminent.

The defense minister specifically called out the lack of cooperation from the Afghan regime in controlling the activities of TTP, stressing the need for Afghanistan to fulfill its obligations as a neighboring country and uphold the peace agreement. He noted that Pakistan had provided refuge to six million Afghan nationals for decades, but instead of gratitude, Pakistan faced the threat of terrorism from militants harbored by Kabul. The Pakistan Army echoed these concerns, expressing grave concern over the liberty of action enjoyed by militants in Afghanistan and calling for an end to this nexus.

Pakistan’s military has consistently highlighted the involvement of Afghan nationals in terrorist attacks, categorizing such attacks as intolerable and promising an effective response. This escalating situation could have serious consequences, potentially destabilizing the region.

It is widely known that the Afghan Taliban regime has allowed numerous terrorist groups to operate freely in Afghanistan, with a particular affinity for TTP. Recent attacks in Zhob, a region previously considered relatively free of militancy, illustrate the hazardous consequences of the alliance between the Kabul regime and TTP. These attacks, specifically targeting security forces personnel, indicate that militants consider them as enemies and openly declare their hostility.

This alarming pattern suggests that since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the TTP has opened two fronts against Pakistan, ramping up attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Pakhtun belt of Balochistan. The TTP’s attempts to gain ground in Baloch-majority areas by releasing propaganda videos in Balochi, highlighting issues such as missing persons and grievances faced by Balochistan’s population, indicate a change in strategy. The recent attacks in Zhob, claimed by Tehrik-i-Jihad Pakistan, may be aimed at disrupting the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

China, a key stakeholder in the region, has been concerned about the fundamentalist policies advocated by the Taliban network and has collaborated with regional arrangements to counter extremist and terrorist groups. The security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor primarily falls within the responsibility of the Pakistani military, making it a prime target for terrorist outfits like TTP.

While the situation seems to be spiraling out of control, Pakistan’s options are limited. The authorities have alerted the global community about the aggressively irresponsible policies pursued by the Kabul regime. However, chances of the regime heeding such efforts are slim, as the Afghan Taliban tend to disregard international opinion. Another approach is regional collaboration, as evidenced by the trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Iran, and China to address the regional security situation. This concerted effort may have some influence on the behavior of the Afghan regime.

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