'Pakistan witnessed 500% rise in suicide bombings after Taliban takeover in Afghanistan'

2,267 Pakistani citizens were killed in 2 years due to Afghan-based terror attacks

Death stare A Taliban fighter stands guard as a woman walks past in Kabul. In Afghanistan, recent Taliban rulings, including banning women from universities and from working in NGOs, have triggered protests in major cities | AP

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said on Wednesday that terror attacks in Pakistan rose 60 per cent and suicide bombings by 500 per cent after the Taliban came to power in neighbouring Afghanistan.

"After the establishment of the interim Afghan government in August 2021, we had a strong hope that there would be long-term peace in Afghanistan. Strict action would be taken against Pakistan-opposing groups, especially the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and they would absolutely not be allowed to use Afghan soil against Pakistan," Kakar said at a press conference in Islamabad.

"But unfortunately, after the establishment of the interim Afghan govt, there has been a 60 per cent increase in terror incidents and a 500 per cent rise in suicide attacks in Pakistan," he said.

He said that 2,267 Pakistani citizens were killed in the past two years due to the attacks by the TTP using Afghan soil.

"During this time, 15 Afghan citizens were also among the people involved in suicide attacks. Other than this, till now, 64 Afghan citizens were killed while fighting Pakistan's law enforcement agencies during the counterterrorism campaign," he said.

Kakar asserted that the details of the attacks were in the knowledge of the Afghan interim authorities, but no action was taken against the TTP despite assurance by the Taliban.

His terse remarks come after a spate of attacks in the past week, including on Mianwali Training Air Base in the Punjab province, which was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan and the killing of soldiers in an ambush in Gwadar, claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Front.

The hardline Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 bringing to an end the government in Kabul when the army, trained and equipped by the US and allies, melted away with a speed that surprised even the rebels.

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