KABUL – Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, has expressed concern over the acquisition of advanced US military equipment by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which had been abandoned in Afghanistan following the American withdrawal. Kakar revealed that this high-tech arsenal, encompassing night vision goggles, firearms, military aircraft, vehicles, and ammunition, originally supplied by the United States to the Afghan military, fell into the hands of the Taliban after their takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.
Security authorities in Islamabad believe that the TTP either procured this equipment from the Taliban or received it as a strategic partner. According to the Defense Department’s inspector general, more than $7 billion worth of US-provided military assets, including Humvees, mine-resistant MRAPs, military aircraft, and munitions, were left in the possession of the Western-backed Afghan government when it collapsed in August 2021 during the US withdrawal.
Additionally, the Kabul government’s inventory included approximately 316,260 small arms, such as rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and howitzers, along with communications, explosive detection, night-vision equipment, and other surveillance tools, all of which were later accessed by the Taliban.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a distinct terrorist organization but aligned with the Taliban, has escalated its attacks on Pakistan’s security forces in recent months. This development raises concerns about the destabilizing impact of advanced weaponry in the hands of militant groups in the region.
The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, coinciding with the withdrawal of US and NATO troops after two decades of conflict, led to the collapse of the US-backed and trained Afghan military, allowing the Taliban to regain control.