Pakistan conducts “anti-terrorist” operations in Afghanistan | WORLD
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Pakistan conducts “anti-terrorist” operations in Afghanistan

A Taliban fighter walks in front of women in Afghanistan. Associated Press/Photo by Ebrahim Noroozi, file

Pakistan conducts “anti-terrorist” operations in Afghanistan

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said that it had engaged in anti-terrorism operations against militant groups inside border regions of its neighbor Afghanistan.

Wait, Pakistan crossed the border to attack targets inside Afghanistan? The ministry said it had expressed concerns several times to the Interim Afghan Government over the last two years. It said that it prioritized the territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and thus had prioritized dialogue. Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry condemned Pakistan’s attack, which it said resulted in “the martyrdom of women and children.”

Which groups was it targeting? It said the operations targeted members of the group known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group. Pakistan specifically asserted that the former, the TTP, posed a “collective threat to regional peace and stability.” The Taliban took over Afghanistan after the United States withdrew its forces from the region in 2021. Pakistan accuses the Taliban government of supporting both the TTP and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group, while using them as proxies against Pakistan.

What sort of threat do these groups pose to Pakistan? The U.S. State Department has warned U.S. citizens to “reconsider travel” to Pakistan “due to terrorism.” The department specifically warns its citizens to avoid several regions of the country where terrorist attacks are most rampant.

What about Afghanistan? The U.S. State Department has issued a “do not travel” warning for Afghanistan. It says the U.S. Embassy in Kabul has ceased operations since the Taliban’s 2021 takeover. It reports that “terrorism, risk of wrongful detention, kidnapping and crime” endanger U.S. citizens who travel there.

Dig deeper: Read A.S. Ibrahim’s column in WORLD Opinions referencing Afghanistan and Pakistan’s simultaneous appearance in Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List’s top 10 countries that are not safe for Christians.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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