ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has provided Afghanistan with key “intelligence information” on the hideouts of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Kunar province, demanding their complete elimination and effective measures by Afghan National Army (ANA) and NATO troops for the prevention of cross-border militant attacks in Pakistani frontier regions of Dir, Bajaur and Chitral.
The intelligence information on Maulvi Fazlullah-led TTP faction, also known as ‘Swat Taliban’, was provided by Pakistani officials to their Afghan counterparts during the daylong visit of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to Afghanistan on Thursday, diplomatic sources said on Friday. Fazlullah and dozens of his followers crossed over to Afghanistan and took refuge in Kunar and other nearby regions after they faced defeat at the hands of Pakistani Army in Swat in 2009.
The Swat Taliban spent some months in silence, but of late, they have resorted to deadly acts of subversion targeting Pakistani border posts in Dir, Chitral and Bajaur, killing several soldiers deployed there, causing great anger and anguish among the top civilian and military cadres in Islamabad.“Prime Minister Ashraf’s delegation that visited Kabul also included senior security and intelligence officials, who shared vital information on the presence and hideouts of Fazllullah-led Taliban in Kunar with the Afghan authorities in Kabul,” a source seeking anonymity said.
He said the prime minister also raised the contentious issue of cross-border militant attacks in Pakistani border areas with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was also in Kabul to attend the trilateral meeting with Pakistani premier and the Afghan president.“Pakistani officials conveyed deep concern prevailing in the Pakistani capital over the repeated attacks by TTP militants on border posts of Pakistan Army and also the inability of Afghan army and NATO forces to prevent these assaults,” he said.
He said Pakistani officials demanded strong and immediate action by troops of its allied nations in Afghanistan against the TTP hideouts, warning that the continuation of the terror strikes would have negative impact on the ties between Islamabad, Kabul and NATO capitals. A security official said following the attacks in the country’s border regions, some important steps had been taken by the Pakistan Army to beef up security arrangements that would help counter the possible terrorists’ strikes effectively. He said Pakistan was in close contact with Kabul and NATO states, including the US, on the cross-border attacks and it had been assured that those nations would take all possible measures to prevent the assaults by militants in Pakistani frontier regions. – PT