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Pakistani militants living in Afghanistan should be handed over to Pakistan: PM

Demands Taliban interim govt to also take action against TTP hideouts n Says concerns shared with US, West about American weapons sale in black market n PM Kakar arrives in Tashkent to attend ECO summit.

ISLAMABAD/ TASHKENT   –  Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar- ul-Haq Kakar has demanded of the interim government of Afghanistan to hand over the Pakistani nationals who were illegally residing in Afghanistan and were involved in terrorist activities against their own country.

Addressing a press conference here at the PM House yesterday, before his departure to Tashkent, the prime minister said the government was ready to receive and accept any such illegal Pakistanis. Kakar also asked the Afghan government to take action against the hideouts of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its training centres in Afghanistan and ensure that “they must not be used against Pakistan”.

Since the interim government took to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, he said, Pakistan witnessed an increase in terrorist incidents by 60 percent besides a 500 percent surge in suicide blasts.

“Pakistan in last two years has lost lives of 2,867 innocent civilians, for which TTP is responsible which is operating from Afghanistan,” he said.

He mentioned that 15 Afghan nationals were found involved in suicide bombings in Pakistan, while 64 Afghans got killed during their fight against the Pakistani law enforcement agencies. He also said Afghan authorities were cognizant of these facts as Pakistan had been sharing these details with them since February this year through the fortnightly memorandums of protest. The monitoring team of the United Nations in its report released this July had clearly highlighted that TTP centres based in Afghanistan were conducting terrorist operations against Pakistan.

Asked if Pakistan itself would take action against the TTP hideouts in Afghanistan, Kakar said, “We are hopeful that they [Afghan government] will take an action themselves, which is in their own interest and also in our interest.”

On the military equipment left behind since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, he said Pakistan had been repeatedly raising concerns with the United States and the Western countries about its implications and its sale in the black market. The PM’s remarks came a after the US State Department denied leaving any equipment behind by American forces during the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“We are aware of the reports of multiple attacks on Pakistani security forces and facilities earlier in November and we offer our condolences to the families of the victims, but I want to be very clear about this: There was no equipment left behind by American forces during the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” US State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a news briefing.