Afghanistan has “reminded” Pakistan that “the Tehreek-e-Pakistan Taliban (TTP) is neither founded in Afghanistan nor operates on our soil”. In a strongly worded rebuttal, Afghanistan’s Foreign Office has said that “Afghan Government has consistently stressed upon implementation of UNSC resolutions and Doha agreement which calls on Taliban to cut ties with regional and international terrorist groups including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), The East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Al-Qaeda and Islamic State for Iraq and Syria ( ISIS)”.
In an escalated war of words, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had called on the Afghan Taliban to control TTP and not allow other terrorist groups including TTP to carry out activities against Pakistan.
“We expect from Afghan Taliban that they will not allow TTP [Tehreek-e-Pakistan Taliban] and other elements to carry out any activity which causes harm to the lives and property of Pakistani people,” Sheikh Rashid told Pakistani media.
Afghanistan told Pakistan that “to treat all terrorist outfits equally and without discrimination, and not allow these closely linked and organized groups to collude with each other to jeopardize the security and stability of our countries”.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has from its inception supported the insurgency in Pakistan, fighting alongside the Afghan Taliban and helping to shelter its fighters in Pakistan. TTP’s emirs have repeatedly pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban’s leader. The TTP is often referred to in the media as the 'Pakistani Taliban'. Both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban work with Al-qaeda, Haqqani network. And that's the reason that Pakistani government is apprehensive about the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan.
Islamabad insist that Afghan government and India back the TTP
Ties between Kabul and Islamabad have been historically low but have soured even more in the past 20 years. The Afghan government accused Pakistan of backing the Taliban which has intensified attacks against the government forces since May 1 when the U.S.-led international forces formally began their withdrawal from the country.
Though Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mommad Quereshi has defended the Taliban for an increase in violence in Afghanistan and shifted the blame on Daesh or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Pakistani sources have confirmed that all is not lost between the Pakistani army and the Taliban. The Inter-services intelligence agency (ISI) still exerts “influence” on the strategic decision making and field operations of the Taliban, though not that significantly. In April, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader and negotiator, visited Quetta to meet the chief of Taliban and other leaders based in Quetta. Apparently there was a meeting of the Taliban supreme leadership council, known as the Quetta Shura and ISI participated in the meeting as an “observer”.
Pakistan has denied supporting the Taliban but its influence has been crucial in persuading the militants to join ongoing US-sponsored negotiations for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.
It is a significant departure from Islamabad’s consistent rejection of allegations leveled by Afghan leaders that the Taliban use Pakistani soil to direct and sustain insurgent activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed acknowledged that “Taliban families live here, in Pakistan, in Rawat, Loi Ber, Bara Kahuh and Tarnol.” Rashid made these remarks in an interview with Pakistan’s Geo News, citing the names of Islamabad suburbs. “Sometimes their dead bodies arrive and sometimes they come here in hospitals to get medical treatment,” he observed.