ISLAMABAD: Pakistan seems to have run out of patience with the Afghan Taliban regime as the foriegn office on Sunday issued the strongest statement yet, saying terrorists were operating with impunity from Afghan soil.
The statement came against the backdrop of recent incident at the border that left seven Pakistani soldiers martyred. The attacks were carried out from across the border, according to officials.
As a result of the incident, the country reportedly carried out air strikes targeting terrorist sanctuaries in Kunar and Khost provinces. The Afghan interim government then summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul in a rare move to lodge a protest over the strikes and warned of serious consequences if such attacks did not stop.
Today, without admitting the air strikes, the foreign office explained in detail the circumstances that led to the recent incidents.
“In the last few days, incidents along the Pak-Afghan Border have significantly increased, wherein Pakistani security forces were targeted from across the border,” it said in a statement.
It highlighted that Islamabad had repeatedly requested the Afghan government in the last few months to secure the border region since terrorists were using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan.
The foreign office noted that Pakistan and Afghanistan had been engaged through institutional channels for the past several months for an effective coordination and security along the long shared border.
“Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including TTP, have continued to attack Pakistan’s border security posts, resulting into martyrdom of several Pakistani troops. On April 14 too, seven Pakistan army soldiers were martyred in North Waziristan district by terrorists operating from Afghanistan,” the statement maintained.
Condemning terrorist operation from the Afghan soil once again, it said, “This is detrimental to our efforts of maintaining peace and stability along Pak-Afghan Border”.
The foreign office emphasised that Pakistan requested the sovereign Afghan government to secure the Border region and take stern action against terrorists in the interest of peace and progress of the two brotherly countries.
“Pakistan also takes this opportunity to reaffirm respect for Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan will continue to work closely with Afghan Government to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields,” according to the communique.
Since Taliban took control of Kabul, there were hopes in Pakistan that given the country’s close relationship with the group the new Afghan government would take care of its security concerns.
The Taliban initially tried to broker a peace deal between Pakistan and the TTP but those efforts made little impact.
It appears that after several months of failed efforts to deal with TTP, Islamabad’s relationship with the Taliban government is now on the edge.
Many observers had already predicated this scenario as given Taliban’s close affiliation with TTP, they would never take action against such groups.