Pakistan Seeks UN Support in Dealing with Cross-Border Terrorism

In light of the escalating cross-border attacks by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistan has appealed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to urge the interim Afghan government to sever its ties with the outlawed group.

Ambassador Munir Akram, Islamabad’s Permanent Representative to the UN, expressed his confidence in a recent UNSC meeting that the council would join Pakistan in demanding the termination of the Afghan government’s relationship with the TTP. This plea comes as Pakistan’s overall fatalities from terrorist attacks and counter-terror operations have hit a six-year high, with nearly 1,000 deaths reported.

The country has seen a significant increase in attacks on its security forces in recent months, with militants employing advanced weaponry and equipment. Islamabad has repeatedly urged the interim Afghan government to prevent its territory from being used by the TTP and other militant organizations to launch attacks against Pakistan.

Ambassador Akram also called on the UN to urge the Afghan side to prevent cross-border attacks and infiltration by the TTP and other terrorists into Pakistani territory. He further called for an investigation into the financing and acquisition of modern weapons by the militant group.

The ambassador warned that if left unchecked, the TTP, backed by Al-Qaeda and some other state-sponsored groups, could soon pose a global terrorist threat. He noted that the interim Afghan government’s failure to control the TTP and other terrorist groups undermines its claim of full territorial control, which it asserts to secure international recognition.

In response to concerns about the alleged forced expulsion of illegal Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, the ambassador emphasized that 98% of such individuals returned to their country voluntarily. The remaining 2% who were deported included individuals involved in terrorism, drug smuggling, and other crimes, or were convicted prisoners who had completed their jail terms.

Ambassador Akram termed the UN’s assertion of an “unfavorable protection environment in Pakistan” regarding Afghan refugees as “offensive”. He highlighted that Islamabad has sheltered almost five million Afghan refugees for over 40 years at great economic, social, and security costs to the country and society, with little help from the international community.

The country still hosts more than one million undocumented Afghans who should return forthwith. He added, “We have made several exceptions for those with Afghan ID cards, POR cards, for those who may be ‘vulnerable’ if they return, and for the over 60,000 Afghans which third countries have offered to receive but have not done so for over two years.” The envoy suggested that the UN should arrange immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees if it has concerns over an “unfavorable protection environment”.

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