Kabul to cooperate in Bisham attack probe: FO

Published June 1, 2024
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch speaking at a weekly media briefing on May 31, 2024. — Screengrab via X/ForeignOfficePk
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch speaking at a weekly media briefing on May 31, 2024. — Screengrab via X/ForeignOfficePk

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday said that the Taliban administration in Afghanistan had assured Pakistan of its cooperation in investigation into the Bisham suicide attack in which five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver lost their lives.

“The Afghan side has agreed to examine the findings of the investigation and to work with Pakistan to take the investigation to its logical conclusion,” FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said at the weekly media briefing.

She was responding to a question about the visit of a high-level delegation led by Interior Secretary Khurram Agha to Kabul. At the talks, Deputy Taliban In­­terior Minister Muhammad Nabi Omari and Mr Agha led their respective delegations.

Interior secy shares proof with Taliban officials during visit to Afghanistan

The spokesperson said, “Yesterday’s meeting was focused on the (Bisham) terror attack and the government of Pakistan shared concrete evidence … our focus was to request the Afghan side to apprehend the perpetrators in light of the shared evidence”.

Beijing welcomed the progress in the investigations and urged Pakistan to get to the bottom of the incident and hunt down and bring to justice all the perpetrators.

The delegation travelled to Kabul ahead of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s upcoming visit to China, where the Chinese leadership is expected to strongly raise the issue of safety and security of the Chinese nationals working in Pakistan.

Cross-border militancy has emerged as a major irritant in ties between Islamabad and Afghan Taliban after the latter seized control of Kabul in 2021.

Despite Pakistan’s repeated pleas for taking action against the banned Afghan­istan-based TTP and other militants, the Taliban administration has continued to look the other way. This forced Pakistan to carry out air strikes against suspected hideouts inside Afghanistan in March.

The spokesperson, however, noted that Islamabad and Kabul have robust channels of communication on terror threat that Pakistan faces from groups, which have hideouts and sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2024

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