Photo: Radio Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Warns Taliban Against Cross-Border Terrorism

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Following the recent cross-border attacks between Pakistan and the Taliban, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, warned that his government would not tolerate any form of cross-border terrorism.

According to Radio Pakistan’s report, during the federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday, March 20, Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister emphasized that the security of Pakistan’s geographical frontiers is a red line for his government.

Mr. Sharif further said that his country desires to have cordial relations with neighboring countries to promote trade and economic relations. However, he said that it is not acceptable that the land of the neighboring country be used for terrorism.

Earlier this week, Pakistan confirmed that it had conducted airstrikes in the eastern Paktika and Khost provinces of Afghanistan. The strikes aimed to target militants from the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, who are responsible for multiple attacks inside the country.

Condemning Pakistan’s cross-border attack as “reckless” and a violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty, the Taliban said that at least eight people, including women and children, were killed in the assault.

The ruling regime in Afghanistan warned that such attacks could have “very serious consequences” that would be beyond Pakistan’s control.

The Taliban Ministry of Defence subsequently claimed that, in response to Pakistan’s airstrike in Afghanistan’s territory, they targeted Pakistan’s military installations along the border area with powerful weaponry. Neither Pakistan nor the Taliban has disclosed additional details regarding the Taliban’s attack in border regions.

Militant attacks have risen sharply in Pakistan in recent months, most of them claimed by the Pakistani Taliban or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliate groups.

The TTP is a separate group, yet they are allies of the Taliban, who took control of Afghanistan in 2021 as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal.

The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, Pakistan claims, has emboldened the TTP, with their top leaders and fighters allegedly hiding in Afghanistan.

Earlier this week, the Pakistani Army claimed that the recent surge of militancy in the country had the “full support and assistance” of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“With the help of the Afghan Taliban and the supply of modern weapons, there has been an increase in the incidents of terrorism in Pakistan,” the Pakistan army said in a statement.

The Pakistan Prime Minister has urged neighboring countries to formulate a joint strategy with Pakistan to combat militancy, adding that it would help establish regional peace and eliminate poverty.