Pakistan’s caretaker foreign minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, has identified the most pressing concern for Pakistan: the threat posed by militant groups operating from Afghan territory to launch attacks within Pakistan.
“For Pakistan, the biggest concern right now is the enhanced terrorist threat from TTP and ISK (Daesh), and their ability to use Afghan soil to launch attacks against Pakistan”, Jilani said while speaking at the Asia Society in New York on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Pakistani officials assert that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has grown more confident and established safe havens in Afghanistan following the resurgence of the Taliban in August 2021.
“We remain closely engaged with the Afghan interim administration on this issue, and while we are committed to fighting and defeating the terrorists, we wish to highlight that terrorist organizations trying to gain a foothold in Afghanistan should be treated as a threat to the neighbourhood and the entire international community,” he added.
After the TTP terminated a ceasefire in November, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in attacks. Contrarily, the Taliban officials deny allegations of the TTP using Afghan territory for assaults and assert that no group within Afghanistan poses a threat to foreign countries.
Jilani affirmed Pakistan’s alignment with the international community concerning human rights violations in Afghanistan, emphasizing women’s rights, employment, and education concerns.
“We will continue to raise these issues with the Afghan interim administration [but] we believe that engaging the Afghan interim government is much more likely to deliver results than coercive measures. Equally important is to avert the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Jilani stated.
According to sources, Asif Durrani, Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan affairs, will lead a high-level delegation to Kabul on Friday. The visit aims to discuss bilateral issues from Islamabad, focusing on common concerns between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister has recently requested deepening relations with Afghanistan’s de facto administration. At the same time, tensions between the two countries have been exacerbated by ongoing border insecurity and questions regarding the legitimacy of the Taliban regime.