Time for action

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The recent surge in militant activities across Pakistan, believed to have been orchestrated by elements residing in Afghanistan, demands immediate attention and action from the Afghan interim government. The situation has escalated since the interim Afghan government took power in August 2021, with Pakistan experiencing a staggering 60% increase in militant acts and a distressing 500% surge in suicide bombings, resulting in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives.
These harrowing statistics underscore the pressing need for the Afghan government to confront the issue of Pakistani nationals illegally residing in Afghanistan and actively involved in militant activities against their home country. Pakistan has repeatedly shared intelligence and raised concerns with the Afghan authorities regarding these threats through official channels, with little to no cooperation in return.
Furthermore, 15 Afghan nationals were found to be involved in suicide bombings in Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of 64 Afghans during confrontations with Pakistani law enforcement agencies. This situation is detrimental to both nations and underscores the urgency of addressing the root causes of terrorism in Afghanistan.
The United Nations monitoring team’s report, released in July, unequivocally highlighted the existence of militant centers in Afghanistan conducting operations against Pakistan. These findings validate Pakistan’s concerns and emphasize the imperative for Afghan authorities to take concrete actions to eliminate these safe havens for militants.
Additionally, the unaccounted for ammunition that was in the possession of the Afghan military, comprising 150,000 personnel, is a grave concern. This unexplained disappearance raises questions about the security of the region and the potential risks associated with uncontrolled weapons.
Pakistan’s decision to repatriate illegal foreign nationals is a step taken out of necessity, given the Afghan interim government’s inability to cooperate in addressing the militants targeting Pakistan. The country has the legal and ethical right to protect its citizens and borders while ensuring the well-being of Afghan refugees who are legally registered in Pakistan.
It is crucial for both countries to establish a security cooperation framework, recognizing that they share the common threat of militancy. They must work collaboratively to prevent their respective territories from being used for terrorist activities, ultimately safeguarding the lives of innocent civilians.
The repatriation of Afghan refugees should prioritize their dignity, safety and security, fostering a conducive environment for improving Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. Both nations should engage in constructive dialogue to resolve bilateral issues and concerns, promoting economic connectivity and shared prosperity. The time for action is now, and it is in the best interest of both countries to address these pressing issues to ensure regional stability and security.