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Pakistan Seeks Diplomatic Resolution Amid Tensions with Afghanistan

Islamabad: Amid escalating tensions with Afghanistan following recent military operations against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) targets, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif emphasized Islamabad’s reluctance for armed conflict with Kabul.

In an interview with the Voice of America, Asif underscored Pakistan’s preference for diplomatic solutions, stating that force should be a last resort. The remarks follow Pakistan’s intelligence-based operations targeting TTP elements inside Afghanistan, prompted by terrorist attacks on Pakistani forces.

Asif called on the Afghan interim government to control TTP militants on its soil and prevent further aggression against Pakistan. He warned of retaliation if attacks persist, urging Kabul not to allow the TTP to instigate conflict.

The defence minister questioned the feasibility of enhancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation with Afghanistan amid strained relations, emphasizing the need for reciprocal goodwill. Asif expressed skepticism about extending economic corridors to Kabul if Pakistan is treated as an adversary.

Reports suggest a significant TTP presence in Afghanistan, with thousands of fighters residing there following military operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Despite United Nations assessments confirming TTP’s presence in Afghanistan, Asif questioned the interim Afghan government’s tolerance of the militant group.

He suggested that the Afghan regime might allow TTP operations to prevent fighters from joining rival groups like IS-Khorasan Province (ISKP). As tensions persist, Pakistan advocates for diplomatic channels to address cross-border terrorism and avoid further escalation in bilateral relations.

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