Tuesday November 28, 2023

200 TTP militants apprehended by Afghan Taliban: report

Report says Taliban-led govt also implemented other "concrete steps" to "neutralise" terrorist activity

By Web Desk
September 28, 2023
A representative image of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants. — AFP/File
A representative image of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants. — AFP/File

In a positive development, the interim Afghan government has apprehended 200 suspected militants involved in cross-border attacks against Pakistan, Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing Pakistani officials privy to the development. 

The report said that the Taliban-led government has also implemented other "concrete steps" to "neutralise" the terrorist activity.

The details of the crackdown on the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were shared in bilateral talks that the interim rulers hosted last week in Kabul with a high-level delegation from Islamabad.

The talks took place after four soldiers embraced martyrdom while repulsing terrorist attacks on two Pakistan Army check posts located near the Afghanistan border in the general area Kalash, District Chitral, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on September 6.

"On 6 September 2023, a large group of terrorists equipped with the latest weapons, attacked two Pakistani military posts located closer to Pakistan Afghanistan border in general area Kalash, District Chitral," a statement from the military's media wing read.

During the fire exchange, 12 terrorists "were sent to hell", while a large number of the militants were critically injured, as per the ISPR statement.

The Afghan Taliban “arrested 200 TTP cadres returning from the Chitral attack. They are now behind bars," VOA quoted an official as saying on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to publicly interact with the media.

He added that de facto Afghan authorities were in the process of relocating other TTP members away from the border with Pakistan.

"But we have to wait and see the outcome of these steps before drawing any conclusions. So, you have to give them some time to consolidate these measures," the official remarked.

Pakistan's special representative on Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, led the delegation to Kabul, with senior military officials also accompanying him. Officials in Islamabad at the time described as "promising" their "extensive" discussions with Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and his team.

The TTP is designated a global terrorist organisation by Pakistan, the United States, and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has forbidden his forces from launching cross-border attacks against Pakistan, calling them haram or un-Islamic.

Akhundzada has also ordered Afghans not to collaborate with or give donations to the TTP for its so-called jihad against Pakistan and barred the militants from running donation collection campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistani officials with knowledge of the recent discussions in Kabul told VOA.

Officials in Islamabad, while sharing their assessment with VOA, believe that the Afghan Taliban are "consciously distancing" themselves from groups aligned with them during the insurgency but which are now involved in criminal activities in Afghanistan, such as extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and terrorism.