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US urges Pakistan to go after Afghan Taliban leaders

Updated May 30, 2016 08:47am

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WASHINGTON: When asked to help catch Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah, who is said to be in Afghanistan, the US has urged Pakistan to go after Afghan Taliban leadership.

Fazlullah fled to Afghanistan in November 2007 when security forces captured his headquarters in Swat. Media reports claim that he is based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province from where he directs TTP attacks in Pakistan.

“We continue to cooperate closely with Afghanistan, certainly, but also urge Pakistan to go after terrorists, especially (Afghan) Taliban leadership, and that cooperation continues,” said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner when asked what efforts were being made to locate Fazlullah.

In November 2009, Fazlullah told the BBC’s Urdu Service that he was based in Afghanistan and vowed to continue attacking targets inside Pakistan.

The State Department statement indicates that the United States wants Pakistan also to act against the Afghan Taliban leaders allegedly hiding inside its territory in return for US help in targeting TTP leaders in Afghanistan.

The TTP is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban movement, although they often help each other in carrying out terrorist attacks.

The Afghan Taliban focus on US, Nato and Afghan security forces in Afghanistan but oppose targeting the Pakistani state. The TTP has almost exclusively focused on targets inside Pakistan, although it took credit for the 2009 Camp Chapman attack in Afghanistan and the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2016

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Comments (10) Closed



Ahmed bin Babar May 30, 2016 09:14am

War and peace cannot go hand in hand...

Donald Trump May 30, 2016 09:18am

Well US has demanded Pakistan to act against its own strategic assets.

Rohit May 30, 2016 09:49am

What about haqqani?

Faisal May 30, 2016 10:09am

Cant trust anymore.

Sudhanshu Swami May 30, 2016 10:10am

Afghanistan cant blame Pakistan that they have Taliban, also Pakistan cant blame Afghanistan that their side have TTP. The border (Durand line) is non existent. People dont consider that as border. In fact Border is quite wide, named Pakhtunistan.

khan May 30, 2016 12:14pm

First demanded Haqqani now Taliban Leaders - so Pakistan becomes a war zone and USA n its Allies just walk in. To have a enemy is better then such gracious friend USA.

Zak May 30, 2016 04:07pm

Sorry we cannot do that, we don't have time , F16s and other resources , if we were given several billions then we can think about taking some limited action on them,based on US inputs

farhan b May 30, 2016 04:16pm

The difference is that TTP is a terrorist outfit whereas Afghan Taliban is a genuine party who is fighting against foreign occupation under the UN charter. Afghan taliban has semi diplomatic ties with Qatar and Turkey, whereas TTP is a militia for hire and is being used against Pakistan since 2005. US by saying this have admitted that they support TTP activities inside Pakistan. Since 2001 there has not been a single instance where Pakistan has been caught handing over weapons to Afghan taliban, whereas Pakistan has over and over again handed over proof of indian involvement in supporting and training TTP under the US umbrella in afghanistan.

Let there be no confusion... time will reveal all truth.

singh May 30, 2016 05:03pm

@farhan b and now it is Good TT and Bad TT? Make it clear to yourself that bad is always bad, and can't do good ever.

srini May 30, 2016 10:00pm

@Zak if you don't have time and resources, US has drones and they will take care of it