Photo: Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN via X

Pakistan Asks UNSC to Push Taliban Cut Ties with TTP

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES – For nearly two years, the Taliban in Afghanistan have tried to broker a peace deal between its ideological offshoot, Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Pakistani government, likely at the behest of Islamabad. Now, Pakistan says the two have to cut ties as cross-border attacks in the country rise. 

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 6, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Munir Akram, urged the UN to investigate how the TTP acquired advanced military equipment, aiding its 50,000 fighters and terrorist operations.

“I am confident that this council [UNSC] will join Pakistan in demanding that the Afghan government [Taliban] terminates its relationship with the TTP.” 

Ambassador Akram warned of the consequences of leaving the TTP unchecked while showing no worries about the deep ties between the Taliban in Afghanistan, historically an ally of the Pakistani national security establishment, and global and regional terror groups.

“Left unchecked, the TTP, supported by Al-Qaeda and some state sponsors, could soon pose a global terrorist threat,” he emphasized.

The Pakistani diplomat criticized the UNAMA mandate for its lack of focus on terrorism-related issues. He emphasized that terrorism both within and from Afghanistan poses the most serious impediment to normalization in the country.

“Counter terrorism must be the highest priority in any future roadmap for engagement with the Taliban,” he said.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Pakistan has witnessed an increase in terrorist attacks, as militant groups such as the TTP and its affiliates have intensified their violence against the country’s security forces and civilians.

Pakistan claims that members of the militant groups are hiding in Afghanistan, receiving training and advanced military weapons to launch cross border attacks and destabilize the region.

Pakistan, a country that provided funding, training, and sanctuary for the Taliban insurgency for decades, was initially enthused by the group’s return to power in Afghanistan. Its chief of intelligence, General Faiz Hamid, showed up in Kabul in the early weeks of the group’s capture of the capital to help mend internal rifts among the group leadership and announce an interim cabinet.

Bilateral relations, however, have dramatically soured in the past year. Pakistan demands that the Taliban in Afghanistan take decisive actions against those responsible for recent security incidents and surrender them to Pakistan. The regime in Kabul, on the other hand, insists that they have no ties to TTP or recent security events in Pakistan. Taliban officials argue that they are not responsible for Pakistan’s internal security.

Yesterday, March 6th, Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have arrested “three terrorists from Afghanistan” who were allegedly attempting to attack Central Jail Adiala, where the country’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, is currently detained.

According to Pakistani media reports, the police also seized heavy weapons, ammunition, hand grenades, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and a map of the jail from these individuals.

Following the arrest, Jan Achakzai, Balochistan’s Minister for Information and Public Relations commented that the recent incident represents a dangerous escalation in Afghanistan’s involvement in terrorism.

In a social media post, Mr. Achakzai called for taking decisive actions to combat the growing threat of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.

“It is imperative that we now take decisive action to increase the cost for the Taliban. Reprisal attacks and drone strikes must be considered as viable options,” he said.

“We must align with US counterterrorism concerns to prevent any de jure recognition of the Taliban,” he emphasized.

During the UNSC meeting on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN expressed his country’s willingness to support the appointment of a UN special envoy for Afghanistan, as mandated by the council. However, he stressed the importance of the envoy having a clear mandate that is acceptable to both the Taliban and regional countries.