South Asia

Pakistan asks Taliban to publicly condemn attack that killed 23 soldiers

Pakistan’s foreign secretary summoned Taliban’s chargé d’affaires to deliver a “strong demarche” in response to Tuesday’s attack on the Pakistani military that killed 23 soldiers, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.

The attack, claimed by Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan—a militant group affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)—killed at least 23 Pakistani soldiers.

During the meeting, the ministry stated that the Taliban’s charge d’affaires, Sardar Ahmad Shakib, was urged to convey Islamabad’s demand for the Taliban administration to “fully investigate and take stern action against perpetrators of the recent attack,” the statement said.

The Taliban was further asked to publicly condemn the terrorist incident at the highest level, take immediate verifiable actions against all terrorist groups, including their leadership, and their sanctuaries. Additionally, the Taliban was requested to apprehend and hand over the perpetrators of the attack and the TTP leadership in Afghanistan to the Government of Pakistan, according to the statement.

Pakistan also stressed the need for the Taliban to take all necessary measures to prevent the persistent use of Afghan soil for terrorism against Pakistan, the statement said.

In the statement, the ministry declared, “Today’s terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the terrorist threat to peace and stability in the region. We must act resolutely with all our collective might to defeat this menace. On its part, Pakistan remains steadfast in its commitment to combat terrorism.”

On the same day, the Pakistani military buried 23 soldiers killed in the attack, carried out by a six-man suicide squad that drove an explosive-laden truck into a military camp in northwest Pakistan.

The gun and bomb attack, claimed by an Islamist militant group, raises concerns about the upcoming scheduled vote on Feb. 8 amidst a surge in militant attacks in the northwest and southwest.