ISLAMABAD: Pakistani investigators probing the recent incidents of terrorism, including Besham suicide attack, are claiming to have collected evidence of Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) involvement in these attacks and will take it up with Kabul in coming days.

Informed sources told Business Recorder that the investigation into the recent incidents of terrorism, notably in Gwadar, Turbat, and Besham, revealed that the terrorists involved in these attacks had active support from across the border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been urging the Taliban regime in Kabul to take action against the TTP sanctuaries based in Afghanistan and instead the Taliban authorities have repeatedly called for a two-way dialogue with the militant outfit.

Pakistan rules out talks with TTP

“Pakistan’s stated policy has thus far been that it would not hold any talks with the TTP and that the Afghan interim government is bound under Doha agreement to take action against all militant organizations, including TTP that have taken refuge in Afghanistan,” said a senior government official.

On Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch ruled out holding of talks with the TTP and reiterated the government of Pakistan’s demand that the Afghan interim government must take action against the TTP and its sanctuaries.

“We have no plans to hold talks with TTP and we expect the Afghan authorities to take action against these terror groups and their leadership for the crimes they are committing and the terrorist attacks for which they are responsible in Pakistan,” she said commenting on the statement by deputy interior minister of the interim Taliban government Muhammad Nabi Omari who recently advised both Pakistan and the TTP to resolve the issue through talks.

Sources, however, maintained that the statement by the senior Taliban leader could be an attempt to ease pressure that the Taliban regime is facing for sheltering the TTP which has actively been involved in terrorism in Pakistan.

As per the government estimates, around 5,000 to 6,000 militants in its cadres are taking shelter in Afghanistan. The sources further maintained that the total number of the TTP members and their family members in Afghanistan has reached 70,000.

“We have evidence that TTP is getting money from India through Afghan proxies,” a security source further maintained.

The incidents of terrorism in Pakistan witnessed a sharp increase in recent months with around 245 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations during the first quarter of 2024 recorded.

In these attacks, a total of 432 fatalities mostly security forces personnel and civilians were also recorded during the period, according to a recent report issued by Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, both bordering Afghanistan, accounted for over 92 percent of all fatalities and 86 percent of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations during this period.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered 51 percent and Balochistan 41 percent of all fatalities in the first quarter of 2024.

The data indicates that the remaining regions were relatively peaceful, suffering less than 8 percent of all fatalities.

Militant organisations claimed responsibility for less than 20 percent of the total casualties attributed to terrorism in the first quarter of 2024 with the emergence of a new militant group named JabhatAnsar al-Mahdi Khorasan (JAMK), affiliated with the Gul Bahadur group.

Pakistan, on March 18, carried out air strikes against the hideouts of Gul Bahadur group inside Afghanistan in Paktika and Khost provinces which was followed by Afghanistan security forces shelling on bordering villages in Kurram tribal district.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Re=== Apr 06, 2024 09:54am
Has Pak not taken up the matter with Kabul several times before. Whats different now
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