NEW YORK: A new United Nations report has highlighted the threat posed to Pakistan by the Afghanistan-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist group which has conducted numerous deadly “cross-border” attacks and operations.
The report — 13th in the series — by the UN Security Council Monitoring team on Afghanistan states that the TTP remains focused on long-term campaign against the Pakistani state with its several thousand fighters in Afghanistan.
“TTP constitutes the largest component of foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, with their number estimated to be several thousand,” according to the report.
“TTP has arguably benefited the most of all the foreign extremist groups in Afghanistan from the Taliban takeover. It has conducted numerous attacks and operations in Pakistan.”
The UN Monitoring Team’s earlier report had focused on the global threat posed by Al-Qaeda, Da’esh and related groups while another report also underlined increasing cross-border attacks by TTP from the Afghan soil as result of the re-unification of the terrorist group in Afghanistan.
On its part, Pakistan had shared a dossier with the UN Security Council, containing evidence of financial and material support provided by Indian intelligence agencies to TTP to conduct cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets.
The outlawed TTP was also responsible for the heinous attack against the Army Public School in Peshawar in which over 150 children were killed.
Separately, the Monitoring Team report mentions the presence of defunct Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Afghanistan unlike previous reports.
Ever since becoming a member of the UN Security Council in January 2021, India has been repeatedly criticizing the UN Monitoring Team for not including specific references to these groups in UN reports.
On 14 February 2022, during a public meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), which India currently chairs, it’s representative publicly slammed the UN Monitoring Team on the issue, stating that the UN reporting mechanism was “plagued by political biases.”
While the reference to LeT and JeM in the latest report appears to be an attempt to respond to the Indian pressure and criticism, diplomatic observers say that the Monitoring Team has apparently steered clear of owing any evidence of the presence of these defunct groups in Afghanistan by ascribing the information to a certain Member State.
At the same time, the report also anonymously mentions another Member State according to which there is no evidence of the presence of LeT and JeM in the region.