South Asia

After bombing in Quetta, Pakistan asks Taliban to prevent attacks

Photo: Reuters

A day after a suicide bombing hit Quetta city in southwest Pakistan, Islamabad on Thursday called on the Taliban rulers to prevent terrorist attacks coming from their soil.

At least four people were killed in the bombing that appeared to target police protecting polio vaccination campaign workers in the area.

Islamabad blamed the attack on the Pakistani Taliban fighters saying they are hiding across the border in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the latest claim by the Pakistani Taliban underlined the threat of Afghanistan turning into a haven for militants, despite the Taliban rulers saying they would prevent such attacks from their soil after taking over the country in August 2021.

Khan said if the claim by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, known as TTP, is correct that they were behind the previous day’s attack in the city of Quetta, “then it should be a matter of concern for the Taliban.”

“See, this promise is not only for us but for the whole world. They (the Taliban) promised the whole world that Afghanistan’s soil would not be used for any terrorism. If they (the Taliban) follow it, it is not only in the benefit of Pakistan but it is their own benefit if they want to go with the world,” he said.

Pakistani officials said the attack killed a police officer and three civilians when the bomber blew himself near a police truck.

In a tweet on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is committed to countering the threat posed by terrorist groups in Afghanistan to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism.

“State Department designated four leaders of Afghanistan-based AQIS and TTP,” he added.

An Afghan analyst Noorullah Raghi said Pakistan’s concerns about threats posed to it from Afghanistan are not real.

“Pakistan has sufficient experience in controlling terrorist groups and terrorism is one of the tools for its foreign policy,” Raghi added.

This comes as a Pakistani delegation led by Pakistan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul on Nov. 29.

The visit came a day after TTP called off its ceasefire with Pakistan. It also came as ties have become strained between the ruling Taliban and Pakistan following at least two border incidents in which one Pakistani border force member was killed. There were clashes between Taliban and Pakistani forces in the Dand-e-Patan district in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan last week.

The Pakistani delegation held talks with Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.