Pakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in the tribal region of South Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan. File photo
Shift in Afghan stance toward militants targeting Pakistan
Afghanistan has agreed to target militants attacking Pakistan from alleged sanctuaries on its soil, in a significant move which suggests a thaw in their frayed ties and anti-terror cooperation between them.
Pakistan had demanded Afghanistan through official and unofficial channels to uproot the chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Mullah Fazlullah, hiding with dozens of supporters in Kunar province.
The assurance came from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif in his just-concluded maiden trip to Pakistan, officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.
A security official said there was a visible shift in Afghanistan’s approach since the new government took over in September this year. “We have had very frank and candid discussions with the Afghan President and he agreed that terrorist sanctuaries will be dismantled on the Afghan side,” he said.
The commitment was given after Ghani was briefed ‘with evidence’ that Pakistan’s ongoing operation in North Waziristan was targeting ‘terrorists of all shades’, including the deadly Haqqani Network.