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Taliban deny Pakistan’s TTP sanctuary claims as tensions deepen

AT News

KABUL – In a recent development, the Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, refuted Pakistan’s claims of providing shelter to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistan Taliban. He asserted that the Taliban did not sign the Doha peace accord with Islamabad. The agreement, which addressed issues like reducing violence, withdrawing foreign troops, starting intra-Afghan negotiations, and ensuring Afghanistan remains free from terrorist havens, was previously made between the US and the Taliban.

Pakistan’s political establishment and military are deeply concerned that TTP-led attacks will persist following the establishment of the Taliban-led interim government in Afghanistan, which stated that it did not sign the Doha Peace Agreement with Pakistan.

Mujahid’s clarification to BBC Pashto was in response to allegations made by Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Asif, who accused the Taliban of not fulfilling its obligations under the deal.

Despite the disagreement over the accord, Mujahid maintained that Afghanistan’s soil does not serve as a safe haven for terrorists and emphasized Pakistan’s status as a “Muslim and brother country.”

However, Pakistan remains troubled by the escalating attacks orchestrated by the TTP and believes that the group has found sanctuary in Afghanistan. In response to the death of 12 soldiers in a series of attacks, the Pakistan Army issued a warning, stating it would take an “effective response” to address the issue.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister of Defense of Pakistan, interpreted Kabul’s statement with concern. He asserted that irrespective of Afghanistan’s stance, Pakistan is steadfast in eradicating terrorism from its soil, regardless of the source. Pakistan insists on taking action against militants who operate from within Afghanistan’s borders, regardless of the Kabul government’s willingness to rein them in.

The TTP’s actions have resulted in significant casualties in Pakistan, with at least 850 people losing their lives in attacks carried out by the group. Notably, the TTP nullified the ceasefire agreement with the government in late 2022, leading to devastating incidents like a deadly mosque bombing in Peshawar and a major attack targeting the police headquarters in Karachi.

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