Afghanistan is reeling from a series of powerful explosions in various cities in recent days. There have also been a rise in cross-border attacks into Pakistan and several Pakistani soldiers have been martyred. Relations between both countries are once again on the edge.
The Afghan government has failed to take action against the proscribed TTP and its affiliates responsible for the rise in attacks against security forces. Just a few days ago, terrorists fired heavy weapons across the border into a security check post, martyring three army personnel as violence rattles the region.
The striking increase in attacks inside Afghanistan and across the border highlights the growing security challenges facing the Taliban rulers. An ISIS affiliate which have claimed the recent spate of attacks is proving an intractable challenge and security dilemma for the Taliban government.
The Taliban had promised that no armed groups would use its soil as a base to attack another country but has yet to take action, arrest or hand over any TTP leaders in Afghanistan to Pakistan. Instead, it has started shifting terrorist groups from the border regions. This has prompted Pakistan to issue a strong message to take action against terrorists or face the consequences.
When the Taliban returned to power, Pakistan hoped they would deal with these terror groups but they haven’t taken any decisive action to fulfill their commitments. The Taliban initially tried to broker a peace deal between Pakistan and TTP which soon fell after a month-long truce. Pakistan has been frustrated by the Taliban’s reluctance to eliminate TTP and other groups.
Rather than taking action, the Taliban’s defence minister has warned it will not tolerate ‘invasions’ from its neighbours and blamed Pakistan for a purported airstrike. Pakistan responded diplomatically to the threat and said both are ‘brotherly countries’ and continue to engage for peace efforts. It requested the Afghan government to secure the Pak-Afghan border region and take stern action against those involved in terrorist activities.
After several months of failed efforts, relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have deteriorated once again. Pakistan was under the misimpression that the Afghan government would take care of its security concerns. This is not just affecting Taliban’s ability to gain global recognition but also jeopardizing peace in the region. It will be a huge challenge for the new government to deal with the problem and relations within the coming months.