6,000 militants who recently carried out terrorist attacks in Pakistan are hiding in Afghanistan, claims UN report
A UN reported has claimed that there are several thousand Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan fighters present in Afghanistan, attacking Pakistan’s military and civilian targets from the neighboring country. A number of smaller organizations have come under the banner of IS in the war-torn country.
“The total number of Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, posing a threat to both countries, is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with TTP,” the report said.
For Pakistan, it is a matter of concern that organizations such as TTP, Jamaat-al Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Islam, and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) have their base in Afghanistan. These organizations have taken responsibility for high profile attacks recently in the southern Sindh province as well as in southwestern Balochistan Province.
BLA has been attacking both civilian and military interests in Balochistan in the last few years. The leadership is believed to be mostly based in Afghanistan while some have sought asylums in Europe. BLA has been designated as a terrorist organization by Pakistan, the U.S., and the UK.
Pakistan suffered grave losses for nearly a decade due to terrorist attacks by a number of organizations like the TTP in the urban centers of the country. More than 75,000 civilians and military personnel were martyred and infrastructure losses amounting up to $150 billion. Several military operations finally lead to the elimination of terrorist leaders and the disbanding of these organizations. There are still some occasional attacks though their magnitude is much smaller, with little impact on everyday life.
Peace Talks in Afghanistan
The U.S. has been trying to broker peace between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Some progress has been made with a prisoner swap between the two sides. However, the Afghan government is refusing to release 600 prisoners on the list, calling them high profile criminals.
“The parties are closer than ever to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the key next step to ending Afghanistan’s 40-year long war,” said the U.S. State Department statement. “Although significant progress has been made on prisoner exchanges, the issue requires additional effort to fully resolve.”
Peace in Afghanistan will help Pakistan as the operational capacity of such organizations from across the border will end. Pakistan has very much been a part of the U.S. initiated peace process, one that everyone hopes is achieved.