An elected official in a remote northwestern Pakistani district confirmed that the bodies of 22 men recently killed in southeastern Afghanistan have been buried in the region.
Alamzeb Khan, the district Nazim or in charge of the local government in Khyber Pakhtukhwa’s Lower Dir region, told Radio Mashaal on November 21 that the funerals were held on November 20.
Khan said the men were members of Al-Badar and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The two Pakistani groups have a long history of fighting on the Indian side of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and supporting Afghan insurgent factions such as Hizb-e Islami and the Afghan Taliban.
An Afghan official, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, also confirmed the burials. He said the Pakistanis were killed in an Afghan special forces operation in the Alisher district of southeastern Khost Province, which borders Pakistan.
Some Facebook pages apparently affiliated with Al-Badar have also published pictures of the mass funeral held on November 20.
Afghan officials frequently accuse Pakistan of sheltering and aiding Afghan insurgents and bolstering their ranks by encouraging Pakistani militants to join the Afghan insurgents.
Critics in Pakistan also accuse the country’s powerful security establishment of making a distinction between the “good Taliban” and “bad Taliban.”
They allege that Islamabad tolerates and even aids Islamist militants who mainly fight against Afghan and international troops in Afghanistan but has shown a remarkable resolve in fighting groups that mostly attack Pakistani civilian and military targets.