ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is maintaining a regular engagement with the Afghan Taliban for safeguarding the country’s security interests, said military spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Monday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations director general added that Pakistan was satisfied with the assurances extended by the Taliban regarding peace and security.
In an interview published by Urdu News, the DG ISPR said: “The Taliban have reiterated on several occasions that no group or terrorist organisation will be allowed to use Afghan territory for any terrorist activity against any country, including Pakistan. We have no reason to doubt their intentions, and that is why we are in constant touch with them to protect our national interest.”
One of the country’s major concerns has been the presence of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan.
We are in constant touch with the group to protect our national interests, says Maj Gen Babar
Although there has been no commitment so far by the Afghan Taliban about any action against the TTP present on their territory, the former had claimed it would not allow anyone to use their territory against any country.
There have also been discussions between the Pakistani authorities and the Afghan Taliban about new border control measures to prevent undesired elements from crossing the border into Pakistan. There has been a significant uptick in TTP attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. However, Pakistani authorities are not ready to blame the Afghan Taliban for that and often say it is too early to expect them to establish their writ in the bordering areas and be in full control of the situation.
In his Urdu News interview, Gen Babar underscored the progress being made in fencing the 2,600-km-long border with Afghanistan.
“Our goal has always been better management on this side of the border. Fencing the Pakistan-Afghan border was a major responsibility due to the region’s terrain and other difficulties. Despite all the difficulties, Pakistan has completed the fencing work on 90 per cent of the border. Border management is constantly improving and we are hopeful that it will be fully secured in the near future,” he maintained.
Referring to the coverage of the fall of the last holdout region of Panjshir by a section of Indian media, the military spokesman said Indian media throve on fake news and fabricated stories.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021