Cross-Border Terrorism in Chitral by TTP – says Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani

Cross-Border Terrorism in Chitral by TTP
Image Courtesy – Business Recorder

In the ever-changing landscape of international relations between countries and security issues they face, incidents of cross-border terrorism continue to disturb security worldwide. A recent incident involving a terrorist attack on two military check posts in Lower Chitral District in Northern Area of Pakistan has been a stern reminder for our security agencies to not take this issue lightly and strive for peace through every mean possible.

Cross-Border Terrorism in Lower Chitral

This incident took place in Lower Chitral, a bordering district to Afghanistan, where Afghan Taliban’s have launched a pre-dawn attack on security personnel deputed over check posts in Jinjiret Koh & Astui Pass. According to the latest reports, four security officials have lost their lives and offered martyrdom for the country and in retaliation, more than 16 militants were killed on the spot.

Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had already reported the Taliban concentration in bordering provinces of Afghanistan. Pakistan Military’s media wing revealed that this sensitive information about terrorist’s concentration in Nuristan and Kunar Provinces was shared with the concerned authorities in Afghanistan, while hoping a stern action by the Afghan government against perpetrated and prospective cross-border terrorism attacks originating from their soil.

After the incident, the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly taken responsibility for the attacks against military personnel through their spokesperson Mohammad Khorsani.

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Though, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Caretaker Foreign Minister of Pakistan has stressed that no such allegations be made against Afghanistan government and according to the initial investigation, it was an isolated attack and not authorized by the Afghan government.

Mr. Jilani also took the cautious approach with his comments about the Afghanistan government and reiterated the brotherly bond between both nations. In this regard, on-going dialogues with the Afghan government are viewed as formidable steps.

Another Foreign Office representative i.e., Mumtaz Zahra Baloch also expressed grave concerns about the weapon available in Afghanistan, making it a substantial threat and cross-border terrorism to the peace in bordering areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ms. Mumtaz also went on to say that weaponry as such poses a grave danger for the lives of civilian and military personnel, living and securing border areas, respectively. Ms. Baloch also refrained from alleging the Afghan government and stressed the need for international attention to address the issue at hand.

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Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security studies reported that a spike has taken place in the terrorist attacks in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, causing a loss of 389 precious lives in the first half of 2023. The report also alleged that the uptick in terrorist attacks is caused by the unilateral end of ceasefire by TTP, an outlawed terrorist organization.

On many occasions, Pakistan has protested to the Afghan government about the terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil. In this regard, Pakistani politicians as well as Pakistan military leadership have expressed their apprehensions about safe havens available to the TTP. In wake of recent attacks, Pakistan has urged the Kabul to take appropriate steps to address the situation.

As Pakistan urges Afghanistan government, in response it has alleged Pakistan that many terrorist organizations originating from Pakistan have been killed or captured during surgical operations in Afghanistan, making Afghanistan’s stance a bit doubtful and ambivalent.

The recent incident in Lower Chitral should be treated as a stark reminder to the government and military leadership of Pakistan of the challenges ahead, posed by cross-border terrorism. It stresses the need for continued efforts, dialogue and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to ensure regional stability and security.

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