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ISLAMABAD: A day after Pakistan issued a demarche to Kabul following a deadly gun and bomb attack targeting a military compound in Dera Ismail Khan, the inte­rim Afghanistan government promised to probe the terror attack, but also asked Islam­abad to refrain from blaming Kabul for every problem.

Taliban chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Kabul would investigate the attack. “We are shocked at the attack in Pakistan. We will look into the demands made by Pakistan,” he told Dawn.com. He also asked Pakistan to bolster its security instead of pointing fingers at Afghanistan.

“The attack in the area (D.I. Khan) is hundreds of kilometres away from Afghanistan… Pakistan has strong security forces and the attack should have been thwarted,” the Taliban government spokesman added.

He said that Kabul did not allow anyone to use its soil against Pakistan or any other country. “We will investigate if we receive any information,” Mr Mujahid said.

PM Kakar visits wounded troops in hospital, vows ‘no retreat’ in face of terrorism

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting on law and order held in D.I. Khan was told that terrorists had equipped themselves with modern gadgets, left behind by US forces in Afghanistan.

‘No retreat’

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, meanwhile, visited D.I. Khan’s Combined Military Hospital to inquire after the health of troops wounded in the attack.

He said the nation would not surrender in the face of terror attacks nor would it retreat. “Rather, it will take on the menace of terrorism aggressively,” he said.

PM Kakar questioned who the militants were fighting against and who they had been threatening. “Nobody is afraid,” he said.

“Let me tell the attackers, you have lost this war. The state has won and what is left is only an announcement [of the victory],” PM Kakar said.

‘Internal differences’

Separately, PPP Chair­person Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, while addressing a ceremony at the Peshawar High Court Bar, condemned the attack.

He said such attacks were a result of “internal differences in the country and called for taking a unified stand to eliminate the menace of militancy from the country once and for all”. Expressing grave concern over the spike in terrorism, he said the situation had improved earlier through joint efforts but “a government” had released terrorists from prison without taking parliament on board in this regard.

He praised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police and said that they had rendered enormous sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

He said the militants had also been released from prisons in Afghanistan and were settled in Pakistan’s tribal areas where the people had already suffered innumerable losses due to terrorism.

“This decision brought harm to us and gave Afghanistan ‘strategic depth’ over Pakistan,” he said.

Umer Farooq and Ali Hazrat Bacha in Peshawar also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2023

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