When the Taliban took over Kabul, in August last year, the Imran Khan government cheered but now the rift between the two has widened…writes Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha
The Pakistani army has publically accused the Taliban government of giving shelter to terrorists who are carrying out attacks on Pakistan from Afghan soil.
“Terrorists from inside Afghanistan across the international border, opened fire on Pakistani troops in Kurram District. Pakistani troops responded in a “befitting” manner causing heavy causalities to terrorists, however, as a result of the exchange of fire, five Pakistani soldiers were martyred,” read a statement issued by the Pakistani army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday.
Though the Taliban has denied the firing had come from within Afghan territory, the Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the attack was launched by militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who are given shelter by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He told the media that till now Pakistan has been down playing the incidents but now the situation has gone out of control.
“Pakistan is running out of patience with the interim Taliban government,” said Sheikh Rashid adding that there many groups based across the Durand Line in Afghanistan have intensified their attacks on Pakistan and yet the Taliban government has done nothing.
The incident comes a day after twin unprecedented attacks by the Baloch pro-independence groups on two big camps of the Pakistani security forces. These attacks were a big embarrassment for the Pakistani army. According to the Pakistani army, the Baloch militants are getting full support from the TTP and despite the claim by the Taliban, the Baloch rebels have their hideout in Afghanistan.
“In these attacks, the BLA used sophisticated weapons and explosives, left by NATO forces,” said one official.
When the Taliban took over Kabul, in August last year, the Imran Khan government cheered but now the rift between the two has widened. Disagreements over the demarcation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the Taliban support for the TTP have caused major tensions. Last week, Moeed Yusuf, the National Security Advisor of the Imran Khan government warned the Taliban government that it will strike inside Afghanistan unless its affiliate, the TTP, stops cross-border attacks. He accused the Taliban leaders of sheltering all TTP top militants who are on Pakistan’s most wanted list.
The Pakistani army generals are fearing that in the coming months the situation will worsen further as the Taliban has been refusing to address their concerns. The Imran Khan government is even thinking of announcing a bounty for the heads of TTP and Baloch leaders.
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