July 19, 2023
By Staff report
Pakistan’s federal minister for the Interior, Rana Sanaullah has informed that the Afghan Taliban have expressed an intention to stop cross-border attacks into Pakistan by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but that they lack the capacity.
Speaking to senior journalist Munizae Jahangir on her Aaj News show Spotlight, the interior minister said that the Afghan Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has suggested many solutions to stop cross-border infiltration into Pakistan. One of these is the attempt to relocate TTP militants away from the Pak-Afghanistan border and move them deeper inside Afghanistan so that they cannot carry out attacks more frequently.
“This was indeed an old proposal, and the then COAS General Qamar Bajwa and the former DG ISI Lt. General Faiz Hameed apprised the parliament of this suggestion and sought the guidance of public representatives on the issue,” Sana said on the show.
Pakistan shares a 2600 km long border with Afghanistan, but has constructed a fence on its side of the border to stop cross-border infiltration.
According to a UN Security Council Report, the estimated strength of TTP fighters in Afghanistan was 4,000 to 6,000, based mainly in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar, Logar, Paktika, Paktiya, and Khost. These Afghan areas border with Pakistan’s Peshawar, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, North Waziristan, and Kurram districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The Interior minister also said that the law and order situation in Afghanistan is not exemplary, and it is quite possible that TTP is carrying out their activities without the assistance or knowledge of the Afghan Taliban government.
THE TTP PROBLEM
Barrister Saif, former spokesman of the KP government, who was also on the show on Tuesday night, confirmed that the Afghan Taliban did propose the option of relocating TTP fighters away from the Pakistan border. However, he said that this option was not viewed as a feasible solution to stop TTP attacks inside Pakistan.
He added that in this age of information technology, it was not possible to stop the TTP from attacking inside Pakistan just by pushing them away from the border areas. TTP’s infrastructure and its operatives were also present within Pakistan, and it only needs a message to carry out an attack, as TTP has its own system of communication.
“The TTP is facing an existential crisis from Daish, and if they stop attacking Pakistan, then there is a chance that there would be a revolt inside the organization because of that, and many splinter groups would be formed or the fighters will join Daish,”
said Barrister Saif.
Pakistan has repeatedly complained to Kabul that Afghan soil is being used as a launchpad to carry out terrorist activities inside Pakistan, especially in KP’s tribal districts. After an attack on a military installation in Balochistan’s Zhob district claimed by TTP, the COAS General Asim Munir warned the Afghan Taliban of an “effective response” by his forces if they fail to stop harboring militants who plot cross-border attacks from Afghanistan.
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the army chief voiced serious concerns over “safe havens” of TTP in Afghanistan.
“The armed forces of Pakistan have serious concerns about the safe havens and liberty of action available to TTP in Afghanistan,” the statement noted.
“It is expected that the interim Afghan Government would not allow the use of its soil to perpetrate terror against any country, in the real sense and in line with commitments made in the Doha Agreement,”
the army chief was quoted as saying.