FO rebuffs Kabul for saying that TTP does not operate on Afghan soil

Published June 28, 2021
This file photo shows Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. — Photo courtesy RadioPak/File
This file photo shows Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. — Photo courtesy RadioPak/File

The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday rejected Kabul's assertion that the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) did not operate on Afghan soil.

"The assertions of the Afghan side are contrary to facts on ground and various reports of the United Nations, which also corroborate the presence and activities of over 5000-strong TTP in Afghanistan," the FO spokesperson said.

A day earlier, the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that the TTP was neither founded in Afghanistan nor did it operate on its soil.

The statement was issued after Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Islamabad is expecting the Afghan Taliban will not allow terrorists groups such as the TTP to carry out activities against Pakistan.

"This movement along with other terrorist groups is recognised as the enemy of peace, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region, and the Afghan government fights against this terrorist outfit like any other terrorist group without discrimination," the Afghan foreign ministry had said.

It had also called on all countries, especially Pakistan, to "treat all terrorist outfits equally and without discrimination".

In response to the statement, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said that over the last several years, the TTP has launched "gruesome terrorist attacks" inside Pakistan using Afghan soil without any retribution from its hosts.

"The 12th Report of the UN monitoring team issued in June 2021 acknowledges TTP’s 'distinctive anti-Pakistan objectives' and notes its location within Afghanistan 'near the border with Pakistan'.

"The TTP following its orchestrated reunification with its splinter groups with the help of hostile intelligence agencies, its continued presence in Afghanistan with impunity and its cross-border attacks against Pakistan poses persistent threat to our security and stability," he said.

Read: UN report acknowledges Pakistan's efforts against terrorist groups, warns of threat faced from TTP

Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, without any discrimination is unwavering and unambiguous, the FO spokesperson said.

"Pakistan has continued to emphasise the need for meaningful engagement with the Afghan side for addressing security and terrorism issues through the effective use of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity.

"Pakistan has been making serious and sincere efforts for facilitating intra-Afghan peace process for an inclusive political settlement. We hope that Afghans would seize this opportunity for achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan," the statement concluded.

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