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HomePakistanAfghan Taliban arrest 200 terrorists after Chitral attack | The Express Tribune

Afghan Taliban arrest 200 terrorists after Chitral attack | The Express Tribune



ISLAMABAD:

Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday confirmed that the Afghan Taliban made certain arrests following the Chitral cross-border terrorist attacks, saying Pakistan would protect its sovereignty at all costs.

“Our delegation recently visited (Kabul) and they were informed about the arrests,” Jilani told a news conference here when he was asked to confirm reports that the Afghan Taliban arrested around 200 terrorists of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Read More: UNSC report endorses Pakistan’s stance on TTP

He, however, would not say if those arrested were Pakistani nationals.

“We want the Afghan Taliban to proceed against them according to the law,” he replied to another question about the possible extradition of the detained terrorists.

The Afghan Taliban informed the Pakistani delegation, which recently visited Kabul, about the arrest of the TTP terrorists for their involvement in the Chitral attack. However, this was the first time the top Pakistani diplomat confirmed the development and the first such instance when the Afghan Taliban took action against the TTP.

There was no official confirmation or statement issued by the Afghan Taliban about the development.

Jilani said the visit of the Pakistani delegation led by Ambassador Asif Durrani was “very productive”. He further said Pakistan was concerned over the increase in cross-border terrorist attacks.

Read More: Islamabad to convey strong message to Kabul on TTP

“The entire world also has expressed concerns,” he added.

The Afghan Taliban not only made bilateral commitments but at a trilateral meeting among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China in May. They also pledged not to allow their soil to be used against any country.

“I am hopeful that the Afghan Taliban government would fulfil those commitments and the kind of cross-border attacks that happened over the past few weeks would not happen again,” he said.

Jilani also said Pakistan would use all the options on the table to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty, indicating the possibility of cross-border strikes if the TTP threat was not eliminated.

Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been running high in recent weeks because of the TTP.

On Sept 6, hundreds of TTP terrorists launched an attack from across the border in Chitral.

The same day Pakistan and the Afghan border forces exchanged fire at Torkham. The key border crossing remained closed for nine days.

The visit of Durrani was seen as an effort by Pakistan to convey a clear message that no more cross-border terrorist attacks would be tolerated.

It seems that Pakistan’s hardened stance may have worked as the Afghan Taliban made certain arrests to pacify the anger.

Jilani also confirmed the cabinet’s decision to evict illegal Afghans living in Pakistan. However, he claimed the policy was not country specific but against all nationals living in the country illegally.

The cabinet, through the circulation of a summary recently, approved a crackdown against 1.1 million Afghans living in Pakistan illegally.

“We will implement that policy strictly,” the foreign minister added.

On Israel, the foreign minister made it clear that there was no change in Pakistan’s policy.

He said Pakistan’s position was clear that the issue of Palestine had to be resolved as per the aspirations of the people of Palestine with pre-1967 borders and al-Quds al Sharif as its capital.

“There is no change in our policy,” he insisted, rejecting the impression Pakistan would follow Arab countries in establishing ties with Israel.

“We will not follow any other country’s policy.”

There have been reports that Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries were inching closer to establishing ties with Israel with concerns that Pakistan might come under pressure to bring a shift in its policy.

 





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