Defence Minister Links Terrorism to Afghanistan, Criticizes PTI

Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Khawaja Asif, has recently made a statement attributing most terrorist attacks in Pakistan to Afghanistan. This statement came in the wake of a tragic incident where seven Pakistan Army personnel, including two officers, were martyred in a terrorist attack.

Asif, while addressing the media in Sialkot, stated that militants are exploiting Afghan territory to carry out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. He emphasized that terrorism against Pakistan is predominantly conducted from Afghanistan. This assertion underscores the complex security challenges Pakistan faces along its border with Afghanistan.

The Defence Minister also highlighted that Pakistan has repeatedly accused Afghan authorities of not taking adequate action against terrorist outfits operating on Afghan soil. These groups, including the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are implicated in cross-border attacks against Pakistani security forces and civilians.

In the same press conference, Asif revealed that some facilitators of the terrorists have been traced, and Pakistan has raised the issue with the Afghanistan government. He reiterated Pakistan’s policy that foreign nationals without valid documents would not be permitted to reside in Pakistan.

The Defence Minister also criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) social media team for allegedly running a smear campaign against the Pakistan Army and the martyred soldiers. He suggested that those behind the social media campaign against martyrs must be linked with the terrorists. He further questioned why terrorism in the country witnessed a surge following the removal of the PTI’s government.

In response, PTI senior leader Asad Qaiser censured federal ministers for accusing his party of running an “insulting campaign” against the martyrs of Pakistan Army and security forces personnel. He termed it a “misleading propaganda” against PTI.

In the backdrop of these developments, it’s important to note that Pakistan and Afghanistan have recently agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts and strengthen bilateral relations. This agreement was reached during a phone call between Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar of Pakistan and his Afghan counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi.

However, the relationship between the two countries remains complex due to ongoing security concerns. The recent surge in terrorist attacks in Pakistan has strained relations, with Pakistan blaming Afghanistan-based operatives for the violence.

In November last year, following a surge in terrorist incidents, the caretaker government initiated a deportation campaign against illegal refugees, mostly Afghans. This move has been met with criticism from various quarters, including international human rights organizations.

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