WASHINGTON: Mili­tants who carry out attacks inside Pakistan have obtained US weapons left behind in Afgha­nistan, a US-backed broad­casting service claimed in its latest report on the situation.

Observers say the influx of US weapons has boosted the military capabilities of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch separatist groups, according to the report released by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This influx of weapons has caused “a surge in violence (in Pakistan) over the past two years,” it added.

When the United States pulled out its forces from Afghanistan in 2021, it left behind around $7 billion worth of military equipment and weapons, including firearms, communications gear, and even armoured vehicles.

The Afghan Taliban seized the arms during the chaotic US withdrawal.

The radio reported that since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, some of the American military gear and weapons had turned up in Pakistan, where they were used by armed groups fighting the Pakistani government.

Abdul Sayed, a Sweden-based researcher who tracks the TTP, said the outlawed group’s access to sophisticated combat weapons has had a “terrifying” impact, especially on the lesser-equipped police force, in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2023

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