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United States urges Pakistan and Afghanistan to exercise restraint

WASHINGTON: US government officials have urged Pakistan to exercise restraint following its airstrikes in Afghanistan.

Expressing regret for the loss of life and injuries in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the need for the Taliban to prevent terrorist attacks originating from Afghan soil.

Jean-Pierre stressed the importance of Pakistan’s restraint in its counterterrorism efforts to safeguard civilians.

Emphasizing dialogue as the means for resolving issues, she reiterated the commitment to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

Similarly, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel echoed the call for Pakistan to exercise restraint, ensuring civilian safety in its counterterrorism operations.

He urged Afghanistan to prevent its soil from being used for terrorism against neighboring countries.

Pakistan stated that its anti-terror operations in Afghan border regions targeted the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), responsible for numerous attacks resulting in civilian and law enforcement casualties in Pakistan.

On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) announced that Pakistani forces conducted intelligence-based operations (IBOs) this morning in border regions within Afghanistan. These operations targeted terrorists who have been launching attacks in Pakistan from Afghan territory.

The primary objective of today’s mission was to target terrorists associated with the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group, which, alongside the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been accountable for numerous terrorist assaults within Pakistan. These attacks have led to the loss of lives of hundreds of civilians and law enforcement personnel. The most recent incident occurred on March 16, 2024, at a security post in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, resulting in the deaths of seven Pakistani soldiers.

For the past two years, Pakistan has consistently expressed serious concerns to the Interim Afghan Government regarding the presence of terrorist organizations, including the TTP, operating from Afghan territory. These militants pose a significant threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently utilized Afghan soil as a base to launch attacks within Pakistani borders.

Pakistan places utmost importance on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. Hence, it has always prioritized dialogue and cooperation to address the terrorist menace. There have been continuous appeals to Afghan authorities to take decisive and effective measures to prevent their territory from being exploited for terrorist activities against Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan has urged Afghanistan to deny safe havens to the TTP and extradite its leadership.

While Pakistan holds great respect for the Afghan people, it is concerned about certain elements within the Afghan government that are allegedly harboring and supporting the TTP as a proxy against Pakistan.

This stance is viewed as shortsighted and disregards Pakistan’s historical support for Afghanistan. Pakistan urges these elements to reconsider their policy of aligning with terrorists and instead choose to stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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