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Pakistan warns Afghan Taliban against harboring militants

July 14, 2023

Several militant groups are active in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan. They include the Pakistani Taliban, Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, and the so-called "Islamic State" group.

The Taliban flag being waved at the Pakistani-Afghani border town of Chaman
The Afghan Taliban has been accused of harboring terrorist groups including the Pakistani TalibanImage: Asghar Achakzai/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's military chief on Friday threatened the Taliban in Afghanistan with an "effective response" if it does not stop harboring militants who plot cross-border attacks in Pakistan.

General Asim Munir said the army has "serious concerns on the safe havens and liberty of action" allegedly afforded by Kabul to the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), more commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban.

The TTP has in the past claimed responsibility for attacks in Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan, and beyond.

Other militant groups active in the region include the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group and a newly formed group, Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, which claimed to be behind an attack this week that left nine Pakistani soldiers dead.

"Such attacks are intolerable and would elicit effective response from the security forces of Pakistan," the Pakistani army said.

Kabul blamed for 'intolerable attacks'

Munir accused Afghanistan of not living up to its promise from a 2020 agreement with the United States to bar any terror group from using Afghan soil for attacks.

If they fail to do so, these "intolerable attacks would draw an effective response," he said, without specifying further.

The Taliban-run government in Kabul did not immediately respond to the statement from Pakistan's army on Friday.

However, it has previously denied accusations that it harbored the TTP or members of other militant groups that attack Pakistan.

Pakistan's military also said that "the involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan is another important concern that needs to be addressed."

zc/wd (Reuters, AP)