Kabul will effectively address cross-border terrorism, hopes Durrani

Kabul will effectively address cross-border terrorism, hopes Durrani

ISLAMABAD: A senior diplomat from Pakistan expressed hope that the Taliban government in Afghanistan would effectively address cross-border terrorism, and he pointed to recent actions taken by the Taliban to address Pakistan’s concerns and those of neighboring countries like China. However, the diplomat cautioned that it is too early to determine the outcome of these efforts.
Since the Taliban regained power in Kabul nearly two years ago, Pakistan has faced a notable increase in terrorist attacks. These attacks, occurring on a daily basis, have resulted in the deaths of numerous Pakistanis, including security forces. Pakistan attributes these attacks to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a militant group operating from Afghanistan and waging insurgency against Pakistan.
In an interview with VOA, Pakistan special representative for Afghanistan Asif Durrani acknowledged that measures are being taken to counter the TTP threat and highlighted the recent announcement by the Taliban about relocating TTP members away from border areas with Pakistan. However, he emphasized the importance of observing the results of this relocation before drawing conclusions, as it holds the potential to bring peace to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
In the past, Pakistan engaged in dialogue with TTP leaders at the Taliban’s request, but the process broke down due to unreasonable demands from the militants. The diplomat stated that Pakistan has exhausted the dialogue option, and now the TTP must surrender and face legal consequences. Additionally, he noted that Pakistani military operations have deprived the TTP of territorial control, and their relocation away from the border suggests that they have become a burden for the Afghan Taliban.
Durrani acknowledged ongoing concerns in Afghanistan, including the presence of TTP, ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement), and other groups. Pakistan and China both hope that the Afghan government will take practical steps to address these concerns. China has designated ETIM as a terrorist group due to its attacks on Chinese soil originating from Afghan sanctuaries.
There is an expectation of cooperation between the Afghan Taliban and the international community in countering terrorism, as alluded to by U.S. President Joe Biden. The diplomat stressed the need for sustained dialogue and engagement with the Taliban to reinforce positive developments and address the persisting challenges in Afghanistan.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, the diplomat acknowledged the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women’s access to education and public life. International organizations and the United Nations have strongly condemned these restrictions and called for an inclusive government that represents all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
In terms of Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan, Durrani highlighted an increase in bilateral trade since the Taliban assumed power, and the transit routes through Afghanistan to Central Asian countries have also benefited Pakistan. It is believed that if Afghanistan achieves stability, it can serve as a transit hub for South and Central Asia.
The diplomat concluded by addressing the significant number of Afghan refugees who have sought refuge in Pakistan since the Taliban’s takeover in Kabul. Many of these refugees had worked for international forces in Afghanistan and fled due to concerns about potential retaliation from the Taliban.



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