KABUL – In response to recent accusations made by Pakistan, the White House has clarified that there is no evidence suggesting that Afghan refugees in Pakistan or those residing near the Afghanistan border are involved in acts of terrorism.
John Kirby, the White House National Security Spokesperson, made the comments following Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s claim that hosting Afghan refugees was a serious mistake, as it allegedly led to an increase in terrorist attacks within Pakistan.
Expressing gratitude for Pakistan’s generous support to numerous Afghan individuals seeking safety and security, Kirby emphasized the U.S. commitment to working with Pakistan on their legitimate terrorism concerns and counterterrorism challenges. He assured that the U.S. takes its over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability seriously and will utilize it effectively as needed.
Pakistan’s criticism of the previous government, led by Imran Khan, also cited the influx of over 300,000 Afghan refugees, alongside the existing 500,000 Afghan migrants in the country. Furthermore, the Pakistan Army’s high-ranking officials pointed out that sanctuaries and access to sophisticated weaponry in a neighboring nation (implicitly referring to Afghanistan under Taliban rule) contributed to recent terrorist attacks by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
During the 258th Corps Commanders’ Conference, the Pakistan Army committed to supporting the government’s strategic initiatives aimed at economic revival and the overall well-being of the Pakistani people. However, the presence of TTP terrorists and other similar groups in Afghanistan, along with their access to advanced weaponry, was identified as a major security concern for Pakistan.
Although Afghanistan was not explicitly mentioned in the statement, it was the neighboring country referred to by Pakistan, who accused Afghanistan of tolerating the outlawed TTP on its soil.