Pakistan says militants armed with war equipment left behind by US in Afghanistan

Pakistan’s interim prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that militant groups continue to rage deadly attacks inside Pakistan using military weapons and equipment left behind by the United States and foreign troops following their exit from Afghanistan.

According to a recent report by the Voice of America (VOA), Kakar indicated that the terror groups, primarily the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have been strengthened following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan two years ago and have now armed themselves with thermal weapons, assault rifles, night vision goggles, and other equipment that US and NATO troops left.

“This equipment has greatly enhanced the fighting capacity of terrorists and non-state actors in the region,” Kakar said. “Previously, they had minimal capacity, but they can now target my soldier even if he moves his finger.”

Kakar also blamed the US for the resurgence of terrorism not only in Pakistan, but the impact it has left on Central Asia, China, Iran, and the region at large.

This comes amid a spate of attacks by TTP and other militant groups across Pakistan especially in the border regions with Afghanistan.

At least 200 Pakistani military officers and soldiers have been killed and hundreds more injured by militant groups in the first eight months of 2023.

report by the Foreign Policy magazine also indicated that the Taliban has supplied weapons to the TTP to use in its attacks against the Pakistani army.

Islamabad has been pressing Kabul to rein in cross-border TTP violence and complaining that the group enjoys “greater operational freedom” under Taliban rule—a charge the Taliban has consistently denied.

A recent UN Security Council Monitoring report stated that factions of the TTP militants who are being sheltered in Afghanistan are avoiding control by the Taliban in a bid to merge with Al-Qaeda to expand its influence.