Terrorism from Afghan Soil

Kakar - The News Today - TNT

In a recent national TV interview, Pakistan’s Prime Minister showcased a remarkable blend of clarity and professionalism while addressing a host of critical issues facing the nation. His articulate and persuasive style left no room for ambiguity, shedding light on the complexities of Pakistan’s evolving relationship with its neighbor, Afghanistan.

He provided insights, with a particular focus on Pakistan’s stance on Tehrik-e-Taliban and the challenges posed by illegal Afghan immigrants.


The Prime Minister’s candid discussion on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issue was both enlightening and pragmatic. He refrained from making any rash decisions regarding pursuing TTP terrorists into Afghan territory but affirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to defending its own territory. To understand this nuanced approach, we must acknowledge the deep-rooted historical and cultural ties that TTP has with its Afghan counterparts.

TTP and Afghan Taliban share a common history, having fought together against the Russian invasion and later against Allied forces. TTP and similar groups adhere to an extremist interpretation of Islam and seek to establish a strict Islamic state, often using violence to achieve these goals. Their shared philosophy, ethnicity, language, and cultural bonds have forged a strong connection.

Recognizing these intricacies is crucial when developing a response to either the TTP or the Afghan Government in light of the Doha Agreement. Pakistan rightly demands that Afghanistan adheres to its commitment to prevent terrorists from using Afghan soil to attack other countries.

The Prime Minister astutely pointed out that the Afghan government remains in an interim and arguably illegitimate state, with rudimentary governance structures and communication mechanisms. This informality in governance has led to various local commanders and tribal chieftains exercising significant autonomy, sometimes sheltering TTP terrorists and aiding their nefarious activities within Pakistan. Pakistan’s response to these challenges requires careful consideration of these factors.

The Prime Minister himself, being of Pathan heritage, possesses an innate understanding of the Afghan, TTP, and similar groups. He is well aware of their attitudinal, psychological makeup, and their unwavering commitment to certain ideologies. Pathans, when committed to an idea or philosophy, are notoriously difficult to dissuade by kinetic force. Their resilience, adaptability, and determination make them formidable adversaries.

Moreover, Pathans can endure the harshest conditions with minimal resources, rendering them highly resilient. The adherents of the TTP, typically impoverished, have little to lose, which makes them more willing to engage in violence. They possess a deep-seated commitment to their cause, making it challenging to disassociate them through force.

Adding to the complexity, the TTP now possesses state-of-the-art weaponry left behind by the departing Allied forces in Afghanistan. The United States, during its 2021 withdrawal, left approximately $7 billion worth of military equipment and weapons, including firearms, communications gear, and armored vehicles. The Taliban seized this arsenal after the fall of the Western-backed Afghan government, significantly bolstering their military capabilities.

Regrettably, some of this American military gear and weaponry have found their way into neighboring Pakistan, where they are utilized by armed groups, including the TTP. This influx of U.S. weapons has enhanced the TTP’s capacity and emboldened ethnic Baluch separatist groups in Pakistan, leading to a surge in violence.

The United States Institute of Peace has noted a “robust and growing black market” for U.S. weapons in Pakistan, with armed groups obtaining advanced U.S. weaponry and equipment like M16 machine guns, M4 assault rifles, night-vision goggles, and military communication gear. These sophisticated weapons have had a “terrifying” impact, especially on the under-equipped Pakistani police force.

In the wake of acquiring advanced weaponry, TTP’s attacks in Pakistan have escalated since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. According to the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), terrorist attacks in Pakistan increased by 27 percent last year compared to 2021. These attacks claimed the lives of at least 419 people and left 734 injured in 262 incidents. TTP’s use of sniper rifles with thermal scopes has given them a distinct advantage, enabling pinpoint accuracy even in the dark.

These enhanced night vision goggles and weaponry have enabled the militants to carry out sophisticated attacks, particularly on security checkpoints along Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan. The situation poses a serious threat, especially in areas that were previously relatively peaceful and less prone to violence.

The Pentagon has conveyed to the U.S. government that retrieving the material left in Afghanistan is currently unrealistic, given that the United States does not recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government. The Taliban, however, denies supplying U.S. weapons to TTP fighters and instead blames former members of Afghanistan’s security forces for selling arms on the black market after the fall of the internationally recognized government in Kabul.

In Pakistan, the black market has become inundated with U.S. weapons since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. These weapons are known for their excellent quality and lethality, attracting buyers from various quarters. A U.S.-made M4 assault rifle in good condition can be purchased for approximately $1,400, while military communication gear like Harris Engineering Falcon Three Radios is available for around $3,500. Some of these weapons have also fallen into the hands of criminals, giving them an edge over civilian law enforcement agencies, which are equipped with outdated and less lethal weaponry.

This influx of advanced weaponry into Pakistan has made the TTP a formidable adversary, one that follows no rules, respects no territorial boundaries, and is completely committed to a toxic ideology. They now possess lethal weapons and are well-equipped to carry out their activities with deadly precision. On the other hand, Pakistan’s security agencies operate within the constraints of local, national, and international laws, respecting the territorial boundaries of neighboring Afghanistan.

Given these challenges, Pakistan has adopted a cautious and prudent approach. It has employed economic measures to encourage the Afghan Interim Government to act responsibly and honor its commitments under various bilateral and international agreements. Pakistan has wisely closed smuggling routes and border crossings, with the closure of the Torkham border crossing being particularly significant. Pakistan is likely to extend this embargo until Afghanistan takes concrete steps to rein in the TTP.

The Prime Minister’s caution regarding illegal Afghan immigrants on Pakistani soil is well-founded. There are over 50 million Afghans in Pakistan, with only 2.8 million of them registered. This massive undocumented population poses significant challenges to national security and resources. The Prime Minister has categorically stated that all illegal Afghan immigrants in Pakistan will be identified and repatriated through due legal processes.

Addressing the acts of terrorism by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from Afghanistan into Pakistan requires a comprehensive understanding of the complex web of historical, geopolitical, and socio-economic factors.

Furthermore, Pakistan should exercise caution and not be ensnared by the Afghan Government’s proposals. The Afghan Government has persistently suggested that since they lack authority over the TTP, Pakistan should engage in direct negotiations with the Taliban. Pakistan, in a gesture of goodwill, previously acceded to this suggestion, allowing TTP fighters and committed adherents to relocate to various regions within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces and Northern areas. However, this move inadvertently provided the TTP with an opportunity to regroup and activate their sleeper cells, leading to an escalation of their nefarious activities across the country.

Simultaneously, the government should address this issue with the U.S. government and its allies, stressing the need to provide compensation to Pakistan and its security agencies for the loss of lives, damage to property, and the economic losses incurred as a result of the conflict. Pakistan has borne the brunt of the war waged on its soil by weapons left behind. It is imperative that the international community supports Pakistan by enhancing the capabilities of its security forces with improved weaponry and providing essential training to effectively counter attacks launched by the TTP and other criminal elements armed with such advanced weaponry.

In conclusion, Pakistan’s approach reflects a commitment to safeguard its national interests while seeking peaceful resolutions to complex challenges. In a rapidly evolving regional landscape, Pakistan’s clarity and pragmatism are key to ensuring stability and prosperity for its people and the broader region.

Addressing these root causes requires a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach, including efforts to improve governance, economic development, education, and security in the affected regions.

Diplomatic initiatives that aim to reduce the conflict in Afghanistan and enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan are also crucial.

Additionally, international collaboration to disrupt external support for militant groups and strengthen border security measures is essential to mitigate the threat posed by TTP and similar organizations.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments