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TTP militants have freedom of action in Afghanistan: Pakistan military chief

Pakistani army chief urges Afghan Taliban to fulfill their commitment under 2020 Doha Agreement

Islamuddin Sajid  | 15.07.2023 - Update : 15.07.2023
TTP militants have freedom of action in Afghanistan: Pakistan military chief


Pakistan’s military claimed TTP militants have freedom of action across the border in Afghanistan, urging Kabul not to allow its soil to be used against any country.  

"The Armed Forces of Pakistan have serious concerns about the safe havens and liberty of action available to the TTP in Afghanistan," Gen. Syed Asim Munir, the country's army chief, said on a Friday visit to the southwestern Balochistan province following recent attacks where a dozen soldiers were killed. 

The TTP is a conglomerate of several militant groups in Pakistan that Islamabad believes are currently inside Afghanistan.

"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 (2020) Doha Agreement," he added, according to the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

On Wednesday, at least 12 Pakistani soldiers and seven militants were killed in two attacks and operations in the Zhob and Sui areas of the Balochistan province.

Munir also visited the hospital and met with soldiers injured in the attacks.

"The involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan is another important concern that needs to be addressed," he said, calling such attacks are "intolerable" and warning they would elicit an effective response from Pakistan’s security forces.

He announced that ongoing operations against terrorists will continue, saying they will not rest till the menace of terrorism is rooted out from the country.

Later Munir departed for a two-day visit to Iran where, according to the military, he will meet with Iran’s military and civilian leadership and discuss bilateral matters related to defense and security cooperation.

-Recent tense ties with Afghan Taliban

On Tuesday, Suhail Shaheen, a senior leader of the Afghan Taliban and head of its political office in Qatar, tweeted: "We are committed not to allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against any country including neighboring countries but as regards internal security of a country, it is their responsibility.”

This February, visiting Kabul, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, head of the country's premier intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), warned the Taliban leadership that if terrorists involved in cross-border attacks in the country are not eliminated, Islamabad would take action against them within Afghanistan.

Taliban officials insisted the TTP has no presence in Afghanistan, with all of its leadership having relocated to Pakistan following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in August 2021.

Tensions between the two neighbors rose after the Taliban removed border fencing at some points along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last year, resulting in an increase in TTP terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

Previously, Pakistan was believed to have some influence over the Afghan Taliban, and their return to power was seen as a major strategic victory for Islamabad. However, relations between the two countries have deteriorated amid rising attacks in Pakistan.

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