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US Urges Taliban to Prevent Terror Attacks, Following Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Operations

In a recent development, the United States’ Department of State has called upon the Taliban government in Afghanistan to prevent terrorist activities from their territory. This appeal comes in the wake of Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations against terrorists launching attacks from Afghan soil.

On March 16, an attack was launched from the Afghan border, prompting Pakistani forces to carry out intelligence-based operations (IBOs) in the border regions inside Afghanistan. The attack targeted a security forces’ post in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), resulting in the martyrdom of seven Pakistan Army soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel and captain.

Vedant Patel, the State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson, expressed deep regret over the loss of life and injustices sustained during the attack in Pakistan. He also lamented the loss of civilian lives during the strike in Afghanistan. Patel urged the Taliban to ensure that terrorist attacks are not launched from Afghan soil. He also called on Pakistan to exercise restraint and ensure civilians are not harmed in their counterterrorism efforts.

The Afghan Taliban claimed that two air strikes carried out inside Afghanistan by Pakistani forces had killed eight people in the war-torn country. In response to this, Patel reiterated Washington’s commitment to ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a “safe haven for terrorists who wish to harm the United States or our partners and allies”.

When asked to elaborate on the US stance on Pakistani strikes in Afghanistan, Patel emphasized the importance of protecting civilian lives during such operations. He stated that every possible step should be taken to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent civilians from being impacted.

The US is in regular communication with Pakistani leaders to discuss Afghanistan in detail, including through the counterterrorism dialogue and other bilateral consultations. This is part of the ongoing efforts to address the complex security situation in the region.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office released a detailed statement on Monday, stating that Pakistan had repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns to Kabul over the presence of terror outfits, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), inside Afghanistan. These terrorists pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently used Afghan territory to launch terror attacks inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan accords prime importance to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and has always prioritized dialogue and cooperation to confront the terrorist threat. Pakistan has repeatedly urged the Afghan authorities to take concrete and effective action to ensure that the Afghan soil is not used as a staging ground for terrorism against Pakistan. It has also called on them to deny safe havens to TTP and to hand over its leadership to Pakistan.

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