Terrorism to end if Kabul shuts TTP havens: Asif

In Local
April 02, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday that Afghanistan was the source of recent wave terrorism in Pakistan, warning that this cycle would continue until Kabul shut down the training camps and safe havens of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) there.

Talking to journalists in the Parliament House, Asif said that he himself had visited Afghanistan with a delegation in the past and requested the Taliban leaders to stop terrorism in their neighbourhood.

However, he added, the solution presented by the Afghan side was not workable.

The minister stressed that the Pak-Afghan border should be the same as the other international borders around the world. “People come to Pakistan from Afghanistan on visa and do business here,” he said, adding that this international status of the border was not being respected by Afghanistan.

Asif reminded that Pakistan had allowed transit of goods from Afghanistan to India. “We have fought wars and rendered sacrifices for Afghanistan. But with the ever-changing attitude of the Afghan government, our options for them are limited.”

Responding to a question, Asif said that investigation in the Bisham tragedy – the killing of five chinese national in a suicide bombing last week, was ongoing. “A Chinese investigation team has also joined and we have found some leads,” he added.

When asked about the targets reportedly set for the government by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the minister replied that those target were being met, adding that it would take one and a half years to give relief to the people.

“We have the means to provide relief to the people but tax cases worth Rs2,700 billion were pending in courts. Thousands of billions is being stolen in taxes, electricity, gas, if these things are corrected, the people will get relief,” he added.

Responding to yet another question about Washington’s opposition to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, he said: “America should tell us about the alternate to Iranian gas. If a neighbour gives us gas at good price, then we have the right to buy it. America has to understand our economic situation.”

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