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EDITORIAL: Speaking at an event on Wednesday Afghanistan’s Deputy Interior Minister Muhammad Nabi Omari tried to play both sides as he advised Pakistan and the self-styled Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists to resolve the issues of conflict through dialogue. “We have nothing to do with it”, he claimed, “but we are getting the heat from it.

The escalation of conflict in Pakistan affects the situation in Afghanistan.” The last part of his statement apparently is linked to the TTP’s involvements in the March 26 killing of Chinese engineers in Besham. In a predictable response, Foreign Office spokesperson firmly rejected the advice, telling the Afghan authorities to take action against Pakistani terrorists who have taken up sanctuaries in Afghanistan for the violence they are perpetrating in this country.

Pakistan has gone down that road before, participating in the Afghan Taliban-mediated peace negotiations in Kabul, which ended in a stalemate. It was a mistake to negotiate with militants who refused to accept the writ of the state and had an appalling track record of killing thousands of innocent civilians.

Rather than negotiating terms of surrender, they took the state’s willingness to talk as a sign of weakness and made absurd demands, such as reversal of the erstwhile FATA areas’ merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and eviction of the security forces from there so that the TTP could establish its rule.

Yet somehow along the way in a dubious agreement hundreds of them were allowed to return to be reintegrated into this society. Instead, they killed several local leaders, and resorted to all kinds of violent criminal activities, drawing large protest demonstration from the affected areas’ people.

Many of them regrouped in the tribal districts from where they were flushed out in military operations, and started targeting security forces and the police in coordination with other militants from across the Afghan border.

Flying in the face of the Taliban government’s claim that “we have got nothing to do with it” is a recent report submitted to the UN Security Council Committee by ISIL, Al Qaeda/Taliban monitoring team. According the report, despite the Afghan Taliban’s official stance of discouraging TTP’s activities outside Afghanistan, many TTP fighters have engaged in cross-border attacks in Pakistan without facing any substantial repercussions. It goes on to note that TTP members and their families are said to receive regular aid packages from the Afghan Taliban, signifying a deeper level of support.

It being a case of once bitten twice shy, Pakistan cannot be expected to recommence talks with the TTP terrorists. The Afghan Taliban need to get their act together and fulfil the commitment they gave the international community not to permit terrorist groups or individuals to use Afghan soil for attacks on other countries.

Reluctance of the rulers of Kabul to act against their ideological brothers in the TTP is understandable to the extent that the latter fought alongside them against the US led-Nato forces. Hence, instead of asking for dialogue with Pakistan, a practicable solution for the Kabul government would be to keep them where they are, making them regular citizens of Afghanistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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KU Apr 13, 2024 04:15pm
History has lessons, but we don't learn. What will be the point at which we will say ''enough is enough''? Another tragedy like APS or brave army or police sacrifices, or thousands of more civilians.
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A. Chak Apr 14, 2024 10:39pm
For most of this century, Pakistan used the conflict in Afghanistan to get money from western powers, ostensibly to fight the Afghans. Did anyone think the Afghans wouldn't notice that?
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