The unprecedented rise in terror activities by militant groups has caused great concerns for the civil and military authorities of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the recent past.
Pakistan has experienced a major rise in militancy since the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) broke its peace treaty with the Pakistani government in November. According to Jang Media, the attacks have claimed the lives of 415 military personnel and civilians thus far.
Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) has announced that TTP and other terror groups based in border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan have launched 262 attacks over the past year, causing the death of 419 people and injuring 734 others.
The close relations the Pakistani government had with the Afghan Taliban for years have soured as the notion of good and bad Taliban has been proved wrong. The TTP and their ideological twin in Afghanistan seem to be taunting the Pakistani government. The TTP demands that the status of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a semi-autonomous tribal region in north-western Pakistan be resolved and the fence built on the Afghan border be removed, according to American media.
The Pakistani government has repeatedly accused the Afghan Taliban of giving sanctuaries to TTP and other militant groups on Afghan soil, threatening the security of Pakistan. Whereas the de facto authorities of Afghanistan reject Pakistan’s claims and describe them as baseless allegations that may tarnish the relations between the two neighboring countries.
Similarly, Afghanistan is choked up by growing militancy in the recent past. The optimism the general public had with the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 has long faded. Suicide bombings, targeted attacks, and gun fires have caused the death of hundreds of ordinary people and security personnel. Islamic State (IS) militants have been behind the recent terror activities across the country.
IS militants, the National Resistance Front (NRF), and other groups strictly oppose the ideology and self-centered policy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and try to expand their operations on different fronts. NRF, for instance, aims at draining the enemy, gaining more territory, and accumulating resources while launching guerrilla attacks on Taliban forces in Andarab and Panjshir province.
The IS militants focus their operations in major cities, targeting Taliban officials, security personnel as well as innocent civilians. The worsening security situation in Afghanistan is a major challenge for the country’s ruling regime, having no internal legitimacy or external recognition.
Considering the status quo Afghanistan and Pakistan are suffering terrorism and instability in their own contexts. Therefore, working together instead of accusing and throwing provocative statements at one another might be helpful for both sides in the short and long terms.