Pakistan has issued a stern warning to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, stating that it will take matters into its own hands if action is not taken against militants hiding in Kabul. Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has stated that his country has the right to launch a counterterrorism operation inside Afghanistan under international law if terrorists from Afghanistan continue to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
Bilawal highlighted the increase in terror attacks on Pakistan since the Taliban came into power. He pointed out that the weapons left in Afghanistan by US and NATO forces after their sudden withdrawal had fallen into the hands of militants, exacerbating the security situation in the region.
The warning comes after the extremist group ISIS-K, based in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in the city of Bajaur. A suicide bomber targeted an election campaign rally, killing at least 56 people and injuring nearly 200.
According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, there have been a total of 237 terrorist attacks in Pakistan this year, resulting in the deaths of 151 civilians and 329 security personnel. The escalating threat has prompted Pakistan to assert its right to defend itself against terrorist attacks.
While Pakistan is frustrated with the situation, Bilawal emphasized that a counterterrorism operation should not be the first option. He urged the Taliban to adhere to the Doha Accord, which stipulates that militant groups should not be allowed in Afghanistan and should not be able to launch attacks from the country. Bilawal stated that if there is no appropriate response to Pakistan’s concerns, they will be forced to take action, but it should not be their initial course of action.
Bilawal also mentioned that Pakistan could consider cooperating with the Taliban in dealing with the militants if requested by Kabul. However, Pakistan prefers that the interim government in Afghanistan handles the issue on its own. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif echoed the sentiment, urging the Taliban to take concrete measures to prevent their soil from being used for transnational terrorism.
The situation in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly precarious, with the Taliban struggling to contain the activities of various extremist groups, including ISIS-K. Pakistan’s concern for its security is justified given the proximity and porous border between the two countries. It remains to be seen how the Taliban government will respond to Pakistan’s warning and whether they can effectively address the presence of militants within their borders.
In conclusion, Pakistan has issued a warning to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, asserting its right to launch a counterterrorism operation if action is not taken against militants operating from Kabul. The increasing number of terror attacks in Pakistan and the presence of weapons in the hands of militants from Afghanistan have raised serious security concerns. Pakistan hopes that the Taliban will adhere to the Doha Accord and take concrete measures to prevent their soil from being used by terrorists. Cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in dealing with the militants is also a possibility, but Pakistan ultimately prefers that Afghanistan handles the issue independently. The situation in Afghanistan remains tense, and it is crucial for both countries to work together to address the threat of terrorism effectively.