Taliban refutes connection to Pakistan attack that killed 23 soldiers

The Taliban has rebuffed any association with Tuesday’s militant attack on the Pakistani military in northwest Pakistan, asserting on Wednesday that the incident is unrelated to them and did not originate from Afghanistan.

In response to Islamabad’s plea regarding the assault, which claimed the lives of 23 Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry disclosed that the Taliban’s chargé d’affaires was summoned by the foreign secretary to deliver a “strong demarche.”

During the meeting, the ministry conveyed Islamabad’s demand for a comprehensive investigation into the attack and urged the Taliban administration to take decisive action against the perpetrators. The statement further outlined Pakistan’s request for the Taliban to condemn the terrorist incident publicly, initiate verifiable measures against all terrorist groups and their leaders, and apprehend and extradite the assailants and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership in Afghanistan.

Additionally, Pakistan emphasized the necessity for the Taliban to implement measures preventing the recurrent use of Afghan soil for terrorism against Pakistan.

Responding to these demands, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, as quoted by Taliban-run National TV, stated, “This attack has nothing to do with Afghanistan. If the information is shared with us, we will definitely investigate it.”

“Pakistan has officially raised these demands to eliminate TTP leaders and their shelters,” noted Pakistani journalist Tahir Khan.

In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, especially the Dera Ismail Khan area, several deadly attacks on Pakistani soldiers have occurred in the past month. Islamabad has attributed some of these attacks to the TTP with alleged roots in Afghanistan. However, the Taliban has rejected these claims.

Former university lecturer Nasrullah Stanekzai expressed skepticism, stating, “The Afghan Taliban will not be ready to hand over these friends and associates to the Pakistani government. Their surrender means that the Taliban will prove to the world that they support terrorist groups like TTP.”

The Pakistani government has attributed Tuesday’s attack to Tehreek Jihad Pakistan, a group that claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on Pakistani soldiers this year, though limited information is available about the group’s affiliations.