Pakistan’s Defence Minister highlights shared security threats with Tajikistan emanating from Afghanistan

Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, has said that both Pakistan and Tajikistan are facing similar security threats from Afghanistan.

Asif made the remarks during a meeting with his Tajikistani counterpart, Sherali Mirzo, on Wednesday. The two men discussed bilateral defence cooperation and the security situation in Afghanistan, the Express Tribune reports.

Asif said that Pakistan and Tajikistan are both facing threats from terrorist groups based in Afghanistan. He vowed Pakistan’s assistance to Tajikistan in furthering intelligence capacity and providing technical expertise to the Tajik armed forces.

Mirzo assured Asif of Tajikistan’s commitment to working with Pakistan to enhance bilateral relations.

The security situation in Afghanistan has been a major concern for Pakistan and Tajikistan in recent years. Both countries have been targeted by terrorist groups based in Afghanistan, and they are worried that the Taliban’s takeover of the country could lead to an increase in terrorist activity.

At a virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting on Tuesday, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, called for “meaningful engagement” with the Taliban. He called on the Taliban to not allow Afghanistan’s soil be used by terrorist entities.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which Tajikistan is part of, have also raised concerns over the security situation in Afghanistan, calling for strict counter-terrorism measures against terrorist groups in the country.

A UN Security Council report in June said that the Taliban maintains strong and close links with several terrorist groups in the country, including Al-Qaeda, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Jamaat Ansarullah and others.