Tue, 30 May 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 22 (ANI): An Afghan Taliban delegation comprising intelligence and security officials recently visited Islamabad to discuss a way forward in addressing Pakistan's concerns about the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), sources cited by The Express Tribune said.

Taliban officials in Kabul also confirmed that a mid-level delegation led by Abdullah Ghazanavi, the head of the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI), visited Pakistan to discuss the TTP and other threats to Pakistan.

According to sources, quoted by The Express Tribune, the visit was a follow-up to a high-powered delegation led by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif's trip to Kabul last month.

The delegation was briefed on the Afghan government's efforts to deal with the TTP.

On the other hand, the Pakistani delegation deemed those steps insufficient and called for more concerted action.

Pakistan also confronted the Afghan Taliban leadership with proof of the TTP leadership's whereabouts.

According to the sources, mentioned by The Express Tribune, the Afghan delegation met with the relevant authorities during its stay in Islamabad to discuss the security situation as well as the fate of the TTP and its affiliates.

On the condition of anonymity, a source in Kabul with knowledge of the situation told The Express Tribune that the delegation, including ten members of the Taliban's GDI, visited Islamabad last week.

According to the source, the delegation was also assisted by GDI official Muhammad Wardak, who added that the delegation delivered a message from Kabul indicating that Pakistan's concerns would be addressed.

During the visit, both parties remained silent. According to sources in Islamabad, given the sensitivity of the issue, both parties decided to discuss such matters away from the media spotlight.

According to the source in Kabul, both sides made progress on various issues, but he was not authorised to make public statements.

The TTP has become a source of contention between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan expected the Afghan Taliban to address its concerns about the TTP after the Taliban reclaimed power in August 2021. However, contrary to expectations, TTP attacks increased.

The Afghan Taliban's reluctance to confront the TTP stemmed from concerns that the group's fighters would defect to Da'esh.

Second, the Afghan Taliban and the TTP share the same ideology because they fought alongside US-led foreign forces.

Nonetheless, the two sides have been attempting to resolve the TTP issue, which has threatened to jeopardise their future cooperation, The Express Tribune reported. (ANI)

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