Pak envoy to deliver ‘clear message’ to Kabul on TTP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to send its point man on Afghanistan to Kabul this week to deliver a clear message on the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to officials.

Special Representative on Afghanistan Ambassador Asif Durrani is slated to leave for the Afghan capital today (Wednesday). He will arrive in Kabul against the backdrop of simmering tensions between the two countries on ‘safe havens’ for terrorists.

In recent days, Pakistan has increased pressure on the Afghan interim government to tackle the TTP threat, with the former’s defence minister and army chief issuing stern warnings to the neighbouring country.

The warnings came on the heels of successive terror attacks in Balochistan’s Zhob District, which prompted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Asim Munir to remind the Afghan Taliban of their promises to the international community regarding the use of Afghan soil for terror activities against other countries.

The Afghan Taliban have rejected Pakistan’s claims. In the face of strong criticism, the Afghan interim government remains steadfast and insists that the TTP has not been operating from Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan’s top military commanders have rejected the Afghan Taliban’s claims. They maintain that the TTP is not only benefitting from sanctuaries across the border but also has access to latest weapons.

The special envoy has been tasked with conveying that Pakistan is running out of patience.

Yet, since past efforts to convince the Afghan Taliban on this matter have failed, observers are skeptical that the latest push by Pakistan will make a difference.

The TTP has emerged as a major stumbling block between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. Contrary to Pakistan’s expectations, the Afghan Taliban appear reluctant to go after the TTP.

While officials privately admit that the Afghan Taliban and TTP are different sides of the same coin, Pakistan’s official stance on the Afghan Taliban’s takeover of the neighboring country was initially welcoming.

Earlier today, the United States also backed Pakistan’s call for action against terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

A spokesperson of the US state department said that it was the responsibility of the Afghan Taliban to not allow for their soil to be used against other countries.

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