Report warns of growing threat from TTP and affiliated groups that are now primarily based in Afghanistan
Pakistan on Sunday emphasized that a United Nations report highlighting the presence of various terrorist groups in Afghanistan had vindicated Islamabad’s longstanding position of the threat they posed for the entire region.
Last week, the U.N. Analytical and Monitoring Team issued its 27th Report, noting that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was now primarily based in Afghanistan, and had carried out over 100 cross-border attacks in the past three months. The report, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council, hails Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorist groups acting in the Pak-Afghan region.
In his statement, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the report had validated Pakistan’s stance on the regional threat posed by groups such as TTP, Jamaatul Ahrar, Hizbul Ahrar and their affiliates. He said that Pakistan had, in the past, “drawn the attention of the international community to the support provided to TTP and its affiliates by hostile intelligence agencies,” in a seeming reference to India. Last year, Pakistan had unveiled a dossier providing “irrefutable” evidence of Delhi funding and fomenting terrorism. It had noted that such groups were largely based in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has also raised the issue of cross-border attacks carried out by TTP on security forces deployed on its side of the border,” read the statement. “Pakistan acknowledges [monitoring team’s] efforts in exposing the hostile agencies’ sponsored collusion of anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan,” it said, adding that Islamabad expected Kabul to launch “a dedicated effort to neutralize the threat” emanating from Afghanistan.
“Pakistan stands firm in its resolve to partner with international community against the menace of terrorism,” it added.
The U.N. report, issued on Feb. 3, praises Pakistan for arresting “individuals engaging in terrorism financing.” It also credits it for seizing assets of those “individuals and entities” who have been designated as terrorist by various U.S. and U.N. agencies. Summarizing TTP activities in Afghanistan, it warns of the terror outfit’s splinter groups finding new common ground in the war-torn state.
“Five entities pledged allegiance to TTP in July and August , including the Shehryar Mehsud group, Jamaatul Ahrar, Hizbul Ahrar, the Amjad Farooqi group and the Usman Saifullah group [Lashkar-e- Jhangvi],” reads the report, adding that this “enhances” the threat posed by the TTP not only to Pakistan, but also the wider South Asian region.
“TTP was responsible for more than 100 cross-border attacks between July and October 2020,” claims the report, adding that the TTP is estimated to have 2,500 to 6,000 active members.