Deadly border attacks test Pakistani gov’t relations with Taliban | Pakistan Taliban News


Tensions are excessive between Pakistan and Afghanistan over cross-border assaults, with Islamabad accusing Kabul of doing little to cease assaults which have elevated because the Taliban got here to energy final August.

Pakistan says its safety forces are being focused from throughout the border in Afghanistan. Pakistan Taliban, identified by the acronym TTP (Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), and ISIL (ISIS) affiliated fighters, who function alongside the porous border between the 2 nations have carried out quite a few assaults inside Pakistan since 2007.

In 2014, the group attacked a college in Peshawar, killing 150 folks, principally youngsters, in certainly one of its deadliest assaults within the nation.

The Taliban warned Islamabad of “penalties” saying it could not tolerate “invasions” from its neighbours after almost 50 folks had been killed on April 16 in alleged Pakistani air raids within the border provinces of Kunar and Khost. Pakistan has not confirmed if it was behind the air raids.

The Taliban’s return to energy in Afghanistan was celebrated by officers in Islamabad and it was hoped that the armed group would rein in TTP and ISIL fighters, however as a substitute assaults have risen. Extra assaults have been recorded this 12 months than in the identical interval final 12 months.

ISIL associates have additionally carried out assaults inside Afghanistan, posing a significant safety risk to Taliban rule.

The alleged Pakistani air raids sparked protests, with residents in Afghanistan’s Khost and Kandahar provinces taking to the streets saying these killed within the assaults had been civilians.

Pakistan - Taliban attack
Pakistan says its safety forces are being focused from throughout the border in Afghanistan [File: Arshad Arbab/EPA]

Imtiaz Gul, a political analyst primarily based in Islamabad, mentioned Pakistan has lengthy complained in opposition to “terrorist outfits working in jap Afghanistan”.

He mentioned Pakistan has carried out assaults in opposition to “terrorist hideouts” even in the course of the time of former President Ashraf Ghani. “They [rebels] had been additionally focused by US-led drone strikes,” he informed Al Jazeera.

‘Terrorists utilizing Afghan soil’

Pakistani officers allege TTP fighters harboured on Afghan soil are making the most of the Taliban’s governance points and conducting assaults in Pakistan.

“Terrorists are utilizing Afghan soil with impunity to hold out actions inside Pakistan,” Pakistan’s international workplace mentioned in a press release final Sunday.

However Taliban authorities have denied offering protected haven to the rebels, saying they’ve checked cross-border assaults since coming to energy final August.

“There was a whole lot of expectation when the Taliban got here to energy amid hope that the group will lengthen a whole lot of help to Pakistan in countering terrorism,” mentioned Amir Rana, director of Pakistan Institute for Peace Research (PIPS), stating three threats: first the TTP, the second Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP or ISIS-Okay), and the third Baloch fighters who use hideouts in Afghanistan.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Pakistani airstrikes, in Khost on April 16, 2022. At least five children and a woman were killed in an eastern Afghan province when Pakistani military forces allegedly fired rockets along the border in a pre-dawn assault on Saturday [AFP]
Demonstrators participate in a protest in opposition to alleged Pakistani air strikes in Khost [AFP]

In accordance with PIPS, the Pakistan Taliban was liable for 87 assaults throughout Pakistan in 2021, with most assaults concentrating on army personnel inside its western borders.

From January to March this 12 months, 97 Pakistani troopers and officers have been killed in “terrorist assaults”, in accordance with the Pakistani army.

Final week, a Pakistani army convoy was ambushed near the border in North Waziristan, killing seven troopers and 4 attackers in a gun battle. It was claimed by the Pakistan Taliban. On Saturday 4 Pakistani troopers had been killed in firing from throughout the border.

The TTP and Taliban are believed to share ideological roots and have beforehand additionally participated collectively in assaults in opposition to the United States-led Afghan authorities. However they keep separate operation and command constructions.

Final November, the Taliban mediated a ceasefire deal between the Pakistani authorities and the Pakistan Taliban however that didn’t final. Pakistan Taliban unilaterally ended the truce accusing Islamabad of reneging on its guarantees. Its essential calls for are the imposition of Islamic legislation in Pakistan and the discharge of its fighters.

Faiz Zaland, a professor at Kabul College, says it’s unlikely the Taliban will act in opposition to the Pakistan Taliban contemplating they fought collectively for the previous 20 years in opposition to the US-led NATO forces.

“The fighters have sacrificed their lives collectively like brothers in opposition to the US-led occupation in Kabul,” he informed Al Jazeera.

The safety institution

Taliban has, nevertheless, maintained that it’ll not permit Afghan soil for use in opposition to Pakistan. Officers from the group, nevertheless, didn’t reply to requests for touch upon the matter.

However Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban authorities’s spokesman, issued a press release condemning the air raids saying that “it’s paving the way in which for enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

The current air raids additionally added to the rising Taliban anger in opposition to Pakistan for constructing a 2,700km (1,677 miles) fence alongside the nations’ border, often known as the Durand Line.

Tensions come regardless of Pakistan repeatedly interesting for the popularity of the Taliban administration which faces diplomatic isolation.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a press release condemning the air raids in Afghanistan [File: Reuters]

Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer on the American College of Afghanistan, mentioned, “Pakistan’s administration expects the Taliban to have the identical degree of subservience the Taliban confirmed within the 90s, and because the group is making an attempt to shed away the stamp of being Pakistan’s proxy, it results in the Taliban taking a tricky stance at instances.”

The current spat, Rana from PIPS mentioned, will possible have an effect on the “already-tense relationship” even within the bilateral entrance between the 2 neighbours. Pakistan is Afghanistan’s greatest buying and selling accomplice.

Nonetheless, analysts say the group doesn’t have sufficient sources to retaliate in opposition to its nuclear-armed neighbour.

“It’s exhausting to think about that the Taliban will take any robust actions in opposition to Pakistan. Even when they wish to, they lack the capability and sources,” mentioned Stated Sabir Ibrahimi, a non-resident fellow at New York College’s Heart on Worldwide Cooperation.

The air raids come days after Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in because the prime minister after Imran Khan was eliminated following a no-confidence movement.

However analysts say Pakistan’s highly effective army, which was accused of offering a protected haven to Taliban leaders up to now, dictates the nation’s Afghan insurance policies. It has elevated border operations in current months.

“It’s not a problem associated to the brand new authorities or previous authorities, it is a matter associated to the safety institution and the newly elected authorities will solely lengthen help in accordance with the safety institution in Pakistan,” mentioned Rana.

Baheer from the American College of Afghanistan mentioned the rationale the Pakistani authorities is but to say the assault in Afghanistan might be “in order that they don’t danger an entire fracture of ties with the Taliban and depart them some face-saving by not claiming it, which might demand justifying it as nicely”.

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