Pakistan to End Diplomatic Support for Afghan Government

ISLAMABAD: In a significant policy shift, Pakistan has decided to withdraw its active diplomatic support for the Afghan Taliban interim regime at international forums due to its failure in preventing the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from using Afghanistan’s soil for terrorist activities against Pakistan.

Diplomatic sources indicated that this decision comes in response to the increased terrorist attacks by the TTP and the Afghan interim government’s inability to halt the militant group’s use of Afghan territory for terror operations in Pakistan, despite repeated calls for action. The TTP sought refuge in Afghanistan after the 2014 Zarb-e-Azb operation. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s diplomatic staff, led by Charge d’Affaires Obaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani, will remain in Kabul to fulfill their diplomatic duties.

The sources clarified that Pakistan will no longer advocate or provide active diplomatic support to the Afghan interim government on the international stage, including at the United Nations and the UN Security Council.

Additionally, Pakistan plans to withdraw special privileges previously granted to the Afghan Taliban regime and its authorities, who had been using Pakistani passports for international travel. The sources revealed that Pakistan had been pushing for the lifting of sanctions and access to frozen funds after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021.

While the sources highlighted that Pakistan had conveyed its concerns to the Afghan interim government, urging them to choose between the TTP and Pakistan, there has been no reduction in the TTP’s terrorist activities. The Pakistani Foreign Office has yet to confirm this policy shift or provide any official comment.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, in a recent press briefing, criticized the Afghan interim government, citing a 60 percent increase in terror attacks and a 500 percent rise in suicide bombings since the Taliban’s takeover. Kakar also raised concerns about leftover American military equipment being sold in the black market and used in terror activities across the region.

The Taliban interim government’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied these claims, asserting that the Islamic Emirate does not permit the use of Afghanistan’s territory against Pakistan. Mujahid emphasized that Afghanistan seeks good relations with Pakistan and urged understanding of the Islamic Emirate’s intentions. He denied any interference in the affairs of other countries and emphasized the commitment to preventing illegal activities.

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