Pakistan’s security forces and its people are demonstrating resilience of the highest order. The berserk attacks emanating from the western frontiers by non-state actors holed in Afghanistan is unbecoming of a good relationship. The ruling Taliban are in the spotlight, as it is their prime responsibility to check the dreaded elements and ensure that their soil is not used for any nefarious activities. Moreover, they are under a pledge to exterminate all such dubious characters, by upholding serenity at their home front too. Of late, the attack on Balochistan’s Zhob Cantonment in which nine soldiers were killed is extremely a point of concern. Such sporadic instances have come to derail brotherly ties with the landlocked state, and have bred a sense of discontentment. As rightly stated by the military’s media affairs wing, the armed forces of Pakistan have “serious concerns on the safe havens and liberty of action available to” the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan. The dispensation in Kabul must lend an ear to it, and act as seen and evident on ground to take out the terror remnants.
Taliban, of course, have their own set of problems to deal with but checking terror groups must top their priority. This is inadvertently linked with their survival and recognition on the diplomatic front. Likewise, it constitutes an existential issue for Pakistan as it has been a worst sufferer at the hands of the terror nexus that finds refuge on Afghanistan soil. Bilateral counter-terrorism operations and mopping measures are required on both sides of the divide in order to ensure that the gangrene is done away with. Last but not least, what bothers more is that despite 90% of the border between the two countries being fenced, the luxury of movement that TTP and their wards have is questionable. This hints at some mysterious plan at work at the behest of regional and international elements who apparently do not want to see peace in the return. The onus is on the Afghan Taliban to put their house in order and cleanse their society of gun-wielders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2023.