Pakistan offers Taliban help to ‘curb terrorism’

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday asked the Taliban to honor its “commitment” under the 2020 Doha agreement of not allowing terrorist groups to operate from Afghanistan and also offered Pakistan’s help in dealing with the “menace of terrorism.”

Speaking at an event in Islamabad on Tuesday, Zardari said his country expects the Taliban to take action against terrorist organizations.

“In the past, we had faced the threats and together will face them,” he said, adding that Pakistan was ready to assist the Taliban as it had the capacity to deal with such threats, Pakistan media reported.

Noting that terrorist incidents have increased since the Taliban’s take over two years ago, Zardari also warned that Pakistan has the “right to respond” if the attacks continue.

This comes after a spate of attacks in Pakistan over the past few months, many of which have been blamed on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which Islamabad claims is operating out of Afghanistan.

Zardari also claimed that arms and ammunition left behind by NATO and US troops have fallen into the hands of terrorist groups and are being used in attacks against Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s stance is clear. We have demanded the Afghan interim setup to curb terrorism, as cooperation against the menace of terrorism is in the interest of both countries,” he said. Zardari also stated: “Afghanistan had no standing army, anti-terrorist force or border management force which caused the capacity issues to face terrorism.”

In the past two weeks, four explosions have targeted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Afghanistan. The latest, on Sunday, at a political rally killed 56 people and wounded over 200.