KABUL – Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Riaz Pirzada has stated that Taliban’s interim government is not behind the recent spate of terrorist incidents in Pakistan, suggesting that misunderstandings persist between the two nations.
In a televised interview, Pirzada pointed out the Afghan authorities’ denial of attacks on Pakistan. He acknowledged certain clandestine activities but emphasized the Taliban’s stance against anti-Pakistan actions. He stated, “Payments are made through your neighboring country, and Afghanistan is blamed for these actions, exploiting vulnerable individuals who have been influenced over two decades.”
Addressing the rise of Afghan nationals in Swat and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pirzada attributed their presence to permissions granted during the previous PTI government.
Regarding misunderstandings between the two countries, he noted the Afghan leadership’s sincerity with other countries. Pirzada highlighted the shared blood, socio-cultural ties, and linguistic connections between Pakistanis and Afghans, firmly stating his disagreement with Afghanistan being disloyal to Pakistan. He also commended the Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies as a crucial defense against potential threats, expressing his belief in their pivotal role in upholding the nation’s security.
Pirzada’s comments stand in contrast to recent statements issued by Pakistan’s government and military, which have expressed concerns over militants using Afghan territory for cross-border terrorism. The minister’s remarks follow the recent attack on a military installation in Balochistan’s Zhob Cantt, as well as another assault on security forces in Balochistan’s Sui, resulting in the loss of 12 soldiers’ lives.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office attributed the Zhob attack to Afghan nationals. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had previously urged the Afghan government to take tangible steps to prevent the use of its soil for terrorism. Moreover, Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada cautioned Taliban members against launching jihad abroad.