February 3, 2023
ISLAMABAD – The Foreign Office (FO) said on Thursday that Pakistan expected “sincere cooperation” from the interim Afghan government to address the “challenge of terrorism”.
The remarks come a day after Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that Pakistan should not put the blame for the Peshawar suicide bombing on Kabul.
On Jan 30, a powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Peshawar’s Red Zone area where between 300 and 400 people — mostly police officers — had gathered for prayers. The suicide blast blew away the wall of the prayer hall and an inner roof and claimed 101 lives.
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) initially claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it but sources earlier indicated that it might have been the handiwork of some local faction of the outlawed group.
According to TOLO News, the Afghan FM said there “is no terrorist base in Afghanistan and the county’s soil will not be used against other countries”.
“We ask Pakistan’s ministers to not throw the snow of their own roofs onto the roofs of others. They should consider their problems in their own country. We advise them to look into the Peshawar explosion in great detail,” Muttaqi added.
Commenting on the matter during a weekly press briefing, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan had seen the statement by Muttaqi.
“Pakistan expects sincere cooperation from the interim Afghan government to address the challenge of terrorism and hopes that Kabul would live up to the commitments made to the international community in this regard,” she said.
“We take loss of innocent lives very seriously and would expect our neighbours to do the same,” she said.
“Terrorism is a common threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. We must take a strong stance against entities that use violence against innocent citizens and law enforcement agencies.”
“We remain firm in our resolve to root out the evil of terrorism and safeguard the security of every citizen. We do not believe in accusations or finger pointing; however, we would reiterate our expectation that no country would allow its territory to be used for perpetrating terrorism against Pakistan.
“It is time the commitments made to the world and Pakistan are fulfilled with sincerity and in good faith with concrete actions,” she said.
Over the past few months, terrorism has been rearing its head again in the country, especially in KP and Balochistan. Pakistan has seen a rise in terrorist attacks across the country, believed to have been planned and directed by the TTP leaders based in Afghanistan.
The TTP, which has ideological linkages with the Afghan Taliban, executed more than 100 attacks last year, most of which happened after August when the group’s peace talks with the Pakistan government began to falter. The ceasefire was formally ended last year on Nov 28 by the TTP.