South Asia

Pakistan army chief slams ‘involvement’ of Afghanistan nationals in terror attacks

Pakistan’s army chief General Asim Munir warned on Monday that the alleged involvement of Afghanistan nationals in recent terrorist attacks in the country was “detrimental” to regional peace and stability and that a “deviation” from the 2020 Doha agreement.

“Terrorism has no place in Pakistan, and the involvement of Afghan nationals in terrorist incidents in Pakistan is detrimental to regional peace, stability, and deviation from the Doha peace agreement by the interim Afghan government (Taliban),” Munir said at a meeting with tribal elders in Peshawar.

Munir’s remarks came after the July 30 suicide bombing at a political rally in Bajaur in Pakistan which killed over 60 people. Following the attack, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif alleged that militants behind a spate of suicide attacks in the country were being helped by Afghanistan nationals, a charge denied by the Taliban.

His comments also came on the heels of Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada’s warning that cross-border attacks, including those on Pakistan, were haram – or forbidden under Islam.

VOA reported on Monday that senior Taliban leaders communicated Akhundzada’s decree to Pakistani officials during recent bilateral talks where they underscored their determination not to allow anyone to threaten other countries from Afghanistan’s soil.

Highly placed official sources in Islamabad told VOA the issue figured prominently during the three-day meetings Asif Durrani, the special representative on Afghanistan, and his delegation held last month with Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, among others, in Kabul.

In addition, the Taliban’s defense minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid said in a speech to members of the Taliban security forces on Saturday that fighting outside of Afghanistan is not religiously sanctioned “jihad,” but rather war, which Akhundzada has prohibited.

Munir however said Monday that “Pakistan has concerns over sanctuaries available to banned outfits and liberty of action they enjoy on Afghan soil.”

According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, Munir said Islamabad will spare no effort to “dismantle terrorist networks and protect its citizens at all costs.”

Reiterating the “resolve of Pakistan Army, and other law enforcing agencies in their fight against terrorism, till elimination of this menace from the country,” Munir said the “peril of Narco,” which has become a “lifeline” for the TTP, will be finished.

“The surge in terrorism in recent past is a futile effort on the part of terrorists to get the talks re-initiated, however, there is no option for these terrorists except to submit to the writ of state of Pakistan before they are decimated, if they persist on their wrong path,” he warned.