Pakistan’s Afghanistan Problem Continues Unabated

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The Pakistani state may cry hoarse claiming that it has resolved Pakistan’s security crises, but the reality is different. AS a recent UN Security Council’s 33rd monitoring report on Al Qaeda and Islamic State, “a witches’ brew of extremely dangerous militant actors continues to find sanctuary in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.”

According to the UN report, Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent “has established a string of training camps in Afghanistan, including in provinces bordering Pakistan, where TTP suicide bombers receive instruction. It was instrumental in the cross-border militant attack orchestrated by the TTP in Chitral last September, with the former providing fighters for the deadly incursion.”

The report further points out “that the Afghan Taliban are generally sympathetic towards the TTP, and that the Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan, a shadowy group that emerged last year and was involved in numerous bloody attacks inside this country, is reportedly a TTP front formed to provide plausible deniability to the Pakistani Taliban.”

As an editorial in Dawn points out unless the Pakistani state proactively addresses these threats it will suffer from the fallout. For that there needs to be conversation and dialogue with Afghanistan. “If left unattended, the militant problem in Afghanistan can again become a multinational security headache. The message from all regional capitals should be: if the Taliban want greater recognition, international cooperation, and foreign investment, they must shut down terrorist sanctuaries. From Pakistan’s perspective, the potential link between Baloch separatists and jihadi groups — highlighted earlier by some observers — would complicate matters in Balochistan, and would require an effective counterterrorism response from the new administration.”

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