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Maulana Fazlur Rehman Visits Kabul for Crucial Talks on Regional Security and TTP Issues

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman embarked on a journey to Kabul on Sunday, accompanied by a prominent delegation of party leaders, including Maulana Abdul Wasi, Maulana Salahuddin, Maulana Jamaluddin, Maulana Salimuddin Shamzai, Aslam Ghauri, and others, as announced by the JUI-F’s media cell on social media platform X.

The purpose of the visit is to engage in discussions on regional and security matters with Afghan leaders, including meetings with leaders of the Afghan Taliban, according to a statement from JUI-F. The trip holds significance as it marks Fazlur Rehman’s first visit to Afghanistan since the Taliban assumed control in 2021.

Earlier, the spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban government, Zabiullah Mujahid, had confirmed Fazl’s impending arrival in Kabul. The interim government of Afghanistan had extended an invitation to the JUI-F chief last month.

This visit occurs against the backdrop of strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, exacerbated by a surge in terrorist attacks, predominantly attributed to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP). Pakistan has consistently asserted that the TTP and other militant groups exploit Afghan territory for attacks against Pakistan. While the Afghan Taliban deny these allegations, Pakistani authorities remain skeptical and have urged action against the TTP, its safe havens, and the extradition of its leaders.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar revealed in November that there had been a 60% increase in terrorism and a 500% rise in suicide bombings since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

A recent report from the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies highlighted that over 82% of terrorism-related deaths in 2023 resulted from attacks by three major groups, including the TTP and its affiliates.

Speaking to the media, Maulana Fazlur Rehman confirmed that discussions on the TTP issue would be on the agenda during his Afghanistan visit. He emphasized the possibility of addressing the matter with the Afghan side and expressed his intent to leverage his rapport with Taliban leaders for the mutual benefit of both countries. Fazlur Rehman emphasized that he would convey the stance of the Pakistani government and share insights gained from his meetings with officials during his interactions with Taliban leaders.

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