The Afghan government has apprehended several Pakistani terrorists.
On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s interim foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said that his country had apprehended a number of individuals responsible for terrorist activities in Pakistan and had notified authorities in Islamabad.
Jilani revealed this to reporters at the Foreign Office in answer to a query concerning international terrorism.
In light of ongoing terror attacks in Pakistan, which have increased since the outlawed militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended a ceasefire agreement in November of last year, and rising concerns about cross-border terrorism by elements based in Afghanistan, the minister’s statement is timely.
Afghan citizens have been involved in terror attacks in Pakistan, and the Afghan government and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, whose tenure ended earlier this month, have both expressed concern that militants have “safe havens” and “liberty of action” in Afghanistan. They had also sought action from Kabul.
The Taliban’s Qatari spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, first denied the charges, telling Dawn that Afghanistan would never let its land to be used in an attack on any nation.
Zabiullah Mujahid, another spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, adopted a harder approach in an interview with BBC Pashto, presumably in an attempt to play to the Afghan gallery, telling Pakistan to fix its own issues instead of blaming others.
Recently, Afghanistan’s top commander issued a warning to Taliban fighters to refrain from attacking outside of Afghanistan. However, only days later, Afghan officials claimed that scores of Pakistani IS terrorists had been killed or detained in Afghanistan during the course of the previous year.
An officer from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) was mentioned in a Dawn article from earlier this month indicating that Islamabad and Kabul were in communication about the militancy problem.
To address the issue of terrorists escaping to Afghanistan, “there is state-to-state interaction [between Pakistan and Afghanistan]. “Very serious negotiations are underway,” Shaukat Abbas, assistant inspector general and head of the CTD’s KP branch, had told reporters.
According to a UN study, the TTP and other groups linked with the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been supplying the extremist IS group with weaponry on par with those used by NATO, and they remain a significant danger in combat zones and neighboring countries.
No political gimmicks here
Caretaker government’s duty is to guarantee free and fair elections, Jalil added. However, he stressed, “the election commission, not the interim government, is responsible for actually holding the elections.”
He went on to say that the caretaker administration will only be in office for a limited time.
This is not a political setting, and we will stay out of it. As a stopgap measure, he stated, “we shall function within our authority.
The caretaker administration, Jilani said, will not engage in “power politics on the international level.”
When asked about the next ODI World Cup in India, he hoped that New Delhi will ensure the safety of the Pakistani squad.
A settlement to the Kashmir problem, he emphasized, should be in accordance with the aspirations of the people of the valley and UN resolutions, and he promised that any discussions with India would be undertaken with that in mind.