A retired Pakistani senator Afrasiab Khattak has slammed Pakistan for allowing the Afghan Taliban to use its soil as a parallel government to Kabul besides the group has stepped up terror attacks across the country including capital Kabul during the recent months.
The former Pakistani senator has harshly criticized Pakistan for adopting a dual speak in anti-terror policy, blaming it for the return of terror in Pakistan while pointing finger towards Islamabad following a deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Unfortunately there is still a dangerous double speak in the anti-terror policy of the state. For example, after the approval of National Action Plan on December 24, 2014 it was categorically stated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif that no distinction shall be made between good and bad terrorists,” Khattak said in an Op-Ed published by a local newspaper.
He said “But soon after it became clear that the state has no intention of acting against private militias kept by Lashkar-e-Taiba (now working as JuD), Jaish-e-Mohammad and Afghan Taliban. Now these are the major networks and a number of smaller outfits work under their shadow. They are the real edifice of the terror syndicate.”
According to Khattak “the aforementioned networks are based in Pakistan but they have a regional and international outreach. The large scale fighting in Afghanistan during the last year and a half and the recent attacks in Pathankot, India is a testimony to this fact. TTP and other smaller networks that murder innocent people (Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line bearing brunt of these attacks) are closely associated with these major organizations.”
He also added that the Afghan Taliban and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a faction of which claimed responsibility behind the university attack, are work hand in glove with one another, emphasizing that TTP provides bases, logistical support and recruits to Afghan Taliban and they in return do not disturb them in border areas in Afghanistan.
“As far as Afghan Taliban are concerned their presence in Pakistan is not even officially denied. For example on January 19 some credible national dailies in Pakistan carried an AFP report about Taliban’s demand from Afghan mobile phone companies to pay them ‘protection money’,” Khattak added.
Criticizing Islamabad for differentiating between good and bad terrorists, Khattak went on to say “But the most disturbing part of the report for Pakistani readers was the fact that meeting between representatives of Afghan mobile phone companies and Taliban Shura took place in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province of Pakistan. It means that Quetta remains a seat of the Taliban who pose to be a parallel government of Afghanistan.”
“Be that as it may, Charsada attack is a rude reminder of the fact that anti-terror campaign in Pakistan is running out of steam, basically because the state policy is systematically differentiating between good and bad terrorists, the pious noises made to the contrary notwithstanding. Will Pakistan renew her anti-terrorist campaign by ultimately going after all militant organizations or will it continue to move in circles is the real question,” he concluded.
This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticized Pakistan for sheltering the anti-government armed militant groups, including the notorious Haqqani terrorist network in its soil from where they launch terror attacks in Afghanistan.