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EditorialPakistan's patience is wearing out

Pakistan’s patience is wearing out

This is Minute Mirror’s third editorial on Afghan facilitation to terrorists targeting Pakistan. Calls for Afghanistan to rein in terrorists seem to have gotten louder as Washington DC has joined the chorus with Islamabad. Pakistan is in the grip of terrorist attacks for quite sometime now. Militants have been targeting security forces with impunity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. A number of army jawans and officers have been martyred in the attacks.

The government has repeatedly raised the issue with the interim setup in Afghanistan, but nothing concrete has materialised. At one point, the government had also sent a delegation to Afghanistan to hold talks with the Tekreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but the talks fizzled out due to unjust demands of the militant group. Following the breakdown of talks and end of ceasefire in November 2022, the TTP has stepped up attacks on the military, targeting personnel and installations. A few days ago, the Pakistan army suffered the highest single-day casualties ever, with 12 armymen losing their lives in Balochistan’s Zhob and Sui districts.

Pakistan’s patience is running out. The Kabul government seems to be paying no heed to the government’s repeated requests to keep a check on cross border terrorism. The civilian and military leaderships are on the same page on this serious issue. The corps commanders have outrightly blamed Kabul for the increase in militant attacks. The army leadership called on the Afghan Taliban to dismantle the safe havens in their territory. Availability of latest weapons and the liberty to carry out the attacks has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban.

So much so, even the United States has shared the Pakistani army leadership’s concerns and asked the Afghan Taliban to see to it that their country is not used for cross border terrorism. Islamabad’s concerns are genuine. It had hoped that the Afghan Taliban takeover of Kabul would secure the country’s western borders. Islamabad has also been supporting the Afghan Taliban’s recognition at the international level. But with continuous attacks from Afghanistan and the failure of the Afghan authorities to act against the militants has disappointed both the civilian and the military leadership in Pakistan.

What is more concerning is the use of latest gadgets by the militants who carried out attacks in Balochistan recently. When the Americans left Afghanistan, they also left behind the latest weapons and equipment, which were later seen being used by the Afghan Taliban.

The equipment in use by the militants in Balochistan raises questions. How did they end up getting a hand on them? Surely not without the help of those who are already in possession of them. Pakistan’s options are limited. If the attacks do not stop, it will be compelled to take action, and for that it would be left with no choice but to go after the militants in their hideouts and safe havens inside Afghanistan.

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