Pakistan Army Expresses Concerns Over TTP Safe Havens in Afghanistan

Pakistan Army Expresses Concerns Over TTP Safe Havens in Afghanistan

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced that the Pakistan Army has expressed grave concerns about the safe havens and freedom of action enjoyed by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan. The statement was made after Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir visited Quetta Garrison and was briefed on a recent terrorist attack in Zhob, where nine soldiers lost their lives. During the visit, the COAS paid tribute to the martyrs, visited the injured soldiers at CMH, Quetta, praised their services to the nation, and commended their resilience.

Earlier this week, terrorists launched a cowardly attack on the Pakistan Army’s Zhob Garrison in Northern Balochistan, resulting in the martyrdom of nine soldiers, as stated by the ISPR.

According to the ISPR, the terrorists attempted to infiltrate the facility but were stopped by alert soldiers on duty. A fierce exchange of gunfire ensued between the terrorists and the soldiers, confining the militants to a small area near the boundary. The ISPR later confirmed the completion of the clearance operation at Zhob Cantt, with five terrorists eliminated during the operation.

The military’s information wing, in its recent statement, expressed expectations that the interim Afghan government would genuinely prevent the use of its territory for perpetrating terrorism against any country, in accordance with the commitments made in the Doha agreement. The statement also emphasized the significant concern regarding the involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan.

The statement highlighted that such intolerable attacks would trigger an effective response from Pakistan’s security forces. It further reaffirmed the commitment to relentless operations against terrorists until the menace of terrorism is eradicated from the country.

Since the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, Pakistan has experienced a surge in terrorist attacks. Pakistan has urged the interim Afghan rulers to take decisive actions against terrorists, including the TTP, who are responsible for cross-border attacks.

According to a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), terrorist activities in the country have increased by 79% during the first half of 2023. The report highlighted that 271 militant attacks occurred in the last six months, resulting in 389 fatalities and 656 injuries. This represents a significant escalation compared to the same period in the previous year, which witnessed 151 attacks, 293 deaths, and 487 injuries.

Pakistani security forces have intensified their response to terrorism, eliminating at least 236 militants across the country and apprehending 295 suspected militants in the first half of 2023.