Pakistan has relayed concerns to the “Afghan side by making a strong demarche with the ambassador of Afghanistan in Islamabad on the recent irresponsible statements and baseless allegations made by the Afghan leadership”, said Foreign Office in a statement on Monday.

“Pakistan has emphasised that groundless accusations erode trust and vitiate the environment between the two brotherly countries and disregard constructive role being played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process,” the statement added.

The Afghan side has been urged to effectively utilise the available forums like Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) to address all bilateral issues, the spokesperson added.

Last week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani urged the global powers to bring Pakistan on board regarding talks with Taliban. The president accused Pakistan of supporting the militant outfit challenging Kabul’s writ.

“Pakistan operates an organised system of support. The Taliban receive logistics there, their finances are there and recruitment is there,” he claimed. “The names of the various decision-making bodies of the Taliban are Quetta Shura, Miramshah Shura, and Peshawar Shura — named after the Pakistani cities where they are located. There is a deep relationship with the state,” he claimed.

Pakistan accuses Afghanistan of sheltering anti-Pakistan groups, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Islamic State (IS), responsible for cross-border attacks on the security forces along the Afghan border.

TTP REGROUPING:

Bolstering their bid to re-establish themselves in the border lands, the Taliban struck an alliance in July with half a dozen small militant factions with Noor Wali Mehsud as its emir.

At least 109 people were killed in 67 attacks between January and July – twice the number in 2019, according to the FATA Research Centre. “The group’s capability and military strength has increased, as has their reach,” said Mansur Khan Mahsud, executive director of the Islamabad-based FATA Research Centre, while talking to Reuters in September last year.

“TTP’s regrouping is concerning both because of its own activities and its links to groups like al Qaeda,” said Elizabeth Threlkeld, a former State Department official who served in Pakistan, now deputy-director for the South Asia program at the Washington-based Stimson Center.

“It could again provide significant support to international terror groups if it continues to regain ground.”

The United Nations said in a report in July there were more than 6,000 Pakistani fighters in Afghanistan, most affiliated with the TTP, who could be heading home if they lose their refuge. “It’s a concern for everyone,” a Western security official based in Pakistan told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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