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UN chief urges Taliban to prevent attacks from Afghan soil

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Kabul: Amid rising militancy in Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has raised concerns about the terror activities emanating from Afghanistan and said this increase “represents a threat to neighbouring countries.” “Well, there are several clear things that we believe the Taliban must deliver from the point of view of the interests of the international community and from the point of view of the interests of Afghanistan itself,” the UN chief said during a press briefing in New York on Monday.

Guterres made these comments in response to a question on rising terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including the recent attack at a police station in Lakki Marwat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “…there is another clear ask from the international community, which is for Afghanistan to stop all forms of activity of terrorist organizations that from Afghanistan represent a threat to neighbouring countries, including Pakistan,” he added. Guterres said that the UN is engaged in discussions with the Taliban to ensure that terrorist activity doesn’t spread to other countries in the region.

United Nations Secretary-General’s remarks come amid a standoff between the Pakistani security personnel and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Pakistani city of Bannu. TTP has gained control of a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) center in Bannu. Despite the passage of 24 hours, there has been no breakthrough in talks with the militants for the release of the hostages, according to Dawn. The sources told the Pakistani newspaper that the top priority for the forces is to free the hostages from the clutches of militants. To neutralize the situation, sources said, law enforcement agencies have decided to engage a cleric, Maulana Ahmadullah, from the Domail area of the city. The cleric has been asked to reason with the TTP operatives who had taken CTD officials and other inmates as captives.

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