Pakistan and the US talk about fighting IS and TTP militants that are located in Afghanistan.

Pakistan and the US talk about fighting IS and TTP militants that are located in Afghanistan.

The United States and Pakistan have concluded their latest round of counterterrorism talks, agreeing to intensify their collaboration in the fight against terrorist organizations like the Pakistani Taliban and a regional Islamic State affiliate.

Washington and Islamabad issued a joint statement simultaneously on Monday, saying the May 10 bilateral dialogue hosted by the U.S. was centered on tackling “the most pressing challenges to regional and global security.”

The meeting came amid a recent surge in terrorism in Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, including security forces. The violence is mostly claimed by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known as the Pakistani Taliban, who are believed to operate from sanctuaries in neighboring Afghanistan.

“Pakistan and the United States recognize that a partnership to counter ISIS-Khorasan, TTP, and other terrorist organizations will advance security in the region and serve as a model of bilateral and regional cooperation to address transnational terrorism threats,” the statement read.

The statement used an acronym for an Afghanistan-based Islamic State affiliate known as IS-Khorasan, which routinely carries out terrorist attacks in the country and beyond its borders.

Pakistani and U.S. officials at Friday’s talks in Washington resolved to step up communication and continue collaboration “to detect and deter violent extremism through whole-of-government approaches.”

According to the statement, the two sides stressed the importance of capacity building, including sharing technical expertise and best practices, providing investigative and prosecutorial assistance and enhancing border security infrastructure and training.

Islamabad maintains that TTP-led terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil have intensified since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of U.S.-led NATO forces after a 20-year counterterrorism mission.

Pakistani authorities allege that members of the Afghan Taliban are facilitating TTP fighters in carrying out cross-border attacks.

The Taliban government in Kabul denies the allegations, saying it is not allowing anyone to threaten other countries, including Pakistan, from Afghan soil.

In a new report slated for release on Tuesday, the U.S. Institute of Peace has warned that Afghanistan “presents growing space for terrorist groups compared to the period before the U.S. withdrawal.”

USIP published a summary of the study on its website, noting that ISIS-K poses “a rising threat with reach beyond the immediate region, greater than during the pre-withdrawal period,” and the TTP “has also returned as a regional security threat.”

The report also stated that al-Qaida and its South Asia affiliate “continue to maintain ties with and receive support” from Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers.

Our Correspondent

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