Spade of terrorism and Pak-Afghan ties

Pakistan has once again asked Afghan authorities to take immediate and effective steps against terrorist entities operating from their soil inimical to the interests of the state of Pakistan.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch voiced concern over the presence of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan, who are continuously weighing war against Pakistan and causing loss of lives and damage to critical infrastructure and properties. She noted that Pakistan is strongly committed to protecting workers and projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and will defeat the designs of any terrorist entity against the CPEC or other investment projects in the country.

The bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently very tense and the security situation in the greater AfPak region has deteriorated significantly, after Pakistan publicly blamed the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, for taking lenient actions against TTP hideouts in their country. The Pakistani accused Afghanistan of ignoring its concerns by resisting taking effective action against anti-Pakistan elements inside Afghanistan.

According to the authorities, the proscribed Tahreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is currently camped inside Afghanistan and has established massive training and lodging infrastructure and avails freedom of movement in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

The issue of terrorism took rebirth in Pakistan about a year ago and continuous terrorist attacks have been witnessed on Pakistani Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and military installations, particularly in Erstwhile FATA and Balochistan over the past year.

The Pakistani authorities have revealed that Afghan nationals are also involved in terrorist activities in the country alongside the TTP miscreants causing grave concerns in the government regarding the rise of terrorism and the conduct of the Afghan brathern, who are at war against their host nation. Interestingly, the TTP still enjoys safe havens and freedom of movement in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan which it availed during the Ghani rule in the past.

Currently, Islamabad and Kabul struck a deadlock over the issue of terrorism, as Pakistan pressing Afghan interim authorities to fulfill their commitments regarding the Doha agreement and also uphold their obligation under the recent trilateral Islamabad Summit between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China by taking decisive actions against the militant group.

Unfortunately, Afghan interim leaders denied the presence of the TTP and any terrorist infrastructure on Afghan soil terming the terrorism and the TTP a domestic issue of Pakistan that astonished the Pakistani authorities as well as the common public.

After continuous noncooperation from Kabul, the Pakistani government decided to repatriate millions of unregistered Afghans residing in the country, a significant number of whom were involved in illegal activities including street crimes, and smuggling of goods and currency. Currently, the people of Afghanistan face a serious humanitarian crisis, a lack of livelihood, and shortages of food grains and staples while the arrival of millions of Afghan returnees from neighboring nations further cause problems for the government as well as the public. The government and the people of Pakistan have great sympathies with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who have suffered a great deal because of difficult humanitarian and security situations.

The government of Pakistan has renewed its calls for Afghan interim rulers not to withhold and take decisive actions against the Pakistan’s proscribed militant outfits amassed in their country, so peace prevails in the region. The courtesy, brotherhood, and good neighborliness are reciprocatory, a two-way traffic, and vice versa. It is high time that the Afghan rulers must review their priorities vis-a-vis terrorism, the TTP, Pakistan, and the interest of the people of Afghanistan.

Pakistanis are the biggest supporters of a free, peaceful, and stable Afghanistan, and the same must be reciprocated by the Taliban and the Afghans. Hopefully, sense will prevail and both nations will demonstrate wisdom, and patience in dealing with the issue of terrorism which has now become a matter of survival for Pakistan.