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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan may share its growing concerns over the potential security threat posed by Afghanistan-based proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter groups when representatives of the “Troika Plus” for Afghan peace process meet in Doha next week.

High officials of Pakistan, the United States, Russia and China are scheduled to meet on August 11 in Doha to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan in the wake of US troops’ withdrawal amid growing concerns in regional countries over the security situation in civil war-torn Afghanistan.

Talking to Business Recorder, senior government officials and diplomats maintained that the representatives of the Troika Plus would also meet with Afghan government officials and the Taliban separately in Doha.

The negotiation teams of Afghan government and the Taliban are already in Doha, but the dialogue process stands stalled.

Pakistan in its part, the officials added, would continue to press both the Afghan government and the Taliban to reduce violence and find a political solution to the conflict.

“As far as the issue of TTP and other anti-Pakistan elements is concerned, Pakistan has repeatedly urged both the Afghan government and the Taliban not to allow Afghan soil to be used against Pakistan, particularly by the terror groups such as TTP and its splinter groups,” a senior official said.

The TTP, believed to be hiding in bordering areas of Afghanistan, continue to attack Pakistani security forces. The outlawed militant group claimed responsibility for the recent attack in Tirah Valley of Khyber district in which two FC personnel lost their lives, besides releasing a video featuring training of its militants in an undisclosed hilly area while urging militant outfits to join their ranks.

The Afghan Taliban have claimed control over a major part of Afghanistan, recently asked Pakistan to hold talks with the TTP in response to government of Pakistan’s request to take action against the outlawed terror organization.

Pakistan, according to Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, will participate in the Troika Plus. “Pakistan looks forward to the Troika Plus meeting in Doha. The meeting will review the current situation in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan considers Troika Plus an important forum to facilitate the Afghan peace process.

He said Pakistan had been participating in the format regularly. “Pakistan will continue to support efforts to achieve a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan,” the spokesperson added.

The meeting of “Troika Plus” is taking place ahead of the Biden administration’s deadline to end US combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of this month at a time when Afghan government and the Taliban are battling for supremacy in several parts of Afghanistan, triggering security concerns amid the distinct likelihood of a huge number of Afghani refugees.

On Friday, according to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban fighters took control of the stronghold belonging to the Afghan warlord, Abdul Rashid Dostum, in Sheberghan city of Jowzjan province; and he also claimed responsibility for killing ofDawa Khan Menapal, head of Afghan government’s media and information department, in Kabul on Friday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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