Islamabad [Pakistan], April 22 (ANI): The regime change in Pakistan has brought the country into a collision course with the Afghan Taliban with Islamist terror groups using Afghanistan's territory to launch attacks deep inside the country, a media report has said.
The Shahbaz Sharif administration in Pakistan, coming to power after voting out the Imran Khan government in the National Assembly, is in a mood to militarily retaliate against any terrorist group indulging in violent attacks on Pakistani territory using Afghan territory as a base, though it has not officially voiced such thoughts, Islam Khabar reported.
Kabul had received a strong message earlier in April in the form of a Pakistani military airstrike in the eastern Afghanistan provinces of Khost and Kunar which took close to 50 lives after Islamabad repeatedly urged Kabul to immediately act against militants launching attacks from Afghan soil, the report said.
"This is a cruelty and it is paving the way for enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reportedly said, adding: "The Pakistani side should know that if a war starts it will not be in the interest of any side."
Border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been rising ever since the Taliban seized power last year, with Islamabad claiming militant groups are carrying out regular attacks from Afghan soil. The Taliban deny harbouring Pakistani militants but are also infuriated by a fence Islamabad is erecting along their 2,700-kilometre (1,600-mile) border.
The Pakistani military has not commented on the attacks, but the Foreign Ministry urged the Taliban in Kabul to take "stern actions" against armed fighters launching attacks against Pakistan from Afghan soil. "Terrorists are using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan," the statement, which was unusually harsh in its language, said. The reference is to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a terror group operating from inside Afghanistan.
The TTP wants its fighters to be allowed to return to Pakistan after the Afghan Taliban began pressurising them to leave their country. However, Pakistani security forces are now in no mood to allow them entry. That is why, tensions are rising between the two sides. So much so, the TTP announced in March that it will launch a fresh offensive against the Pakistani military from the first day of Ramadan, the report said.
Media reports in 2021 cited UN Security Council to say that more than 6,000 terrorists of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had joined their counterparts in Afghanistan. It was alleged that Pakistan has facilitated the travelling of Pakistani fighters into Afghanistan to assist the Taliban in their war against the Afghan national government as then Pakistan PM Imran Khan believed that the Afghan Taliban was fighting a holy war or "Jihad" against the enemies of Islam in Afghanistan, the report said.
After Khan's exit, the real pushback against terrorists holed up in Afghanistan has begun. It is not clear how the new Prime Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, will react to the terror attacks, but the airstrike on Afghan territory sends a clear message. Till March this year, terrorists attacked targets in Pakistan 52 times with over 150 people killed. (ANI)