Kabul warns of ‘consequences’ if Pakistan launches cross-border strikes on TTP
Interim Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson Enayatullah Khwarizmi called Khawaja Asif's statement irresponsible

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Pakistan's Defence Minister Khwaja Asif & then ISI Chief with Afghan Taliban leaders. (File Pic)

Islamabad, June 29: Kabul has strongly reacted to Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement threatening to send troops across the border to Afghanistan to target militants, warning Islamabad of “consequences.”

In a statement, interim Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson Enayatullah Khwarizmi called Khawaja Asif’s statement irresponsible and an attempt to “muddy the waters”.

“It’s necessary for the leadership of Pakistan not to allow anyone to make such sensitive statement on sensitive issues,” Khwarizmi said on X, adding that such remarks will not be in the interest of anyone.

“Anyone who violates our border under any pretext will be responsible for the consequences,” he warned.

In a recent interview with Voice of America, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif accused the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of carrying out attacks inside the country, claiming that the terrorist organisation’s leadership is hiding in Afghanistan and threatened to launch cross-border strikes to eliminate the TTP.

On Friday, Defence Minister Asif stated in the National Assembly that terrorism is being exported from Afghanistan to Pakistan, and asserted Pakistan’s right to respond in kind.

“We also have the right to retaliate in defence of our people,” Asif said, adding, “If both countries want to maintain brotherly relations, nothing could be better.”

He continued, “If they choose to side with terrorists, it will be clear that they support terrorism. They have ties with the Taliban and have brought 6,000 members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) here.”

The statement came hours after senior members of the opposition in the National Assembly vehemently condemned the statement by Minister Asif in which he “irresponsibly” declared that Pakistan would carry out cross-border strikes in Afghanistan to target terrorists.

Significantly, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Friday did not defend the Minister’s statement, saying Islamabad respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has always said that we respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and in that context, it is critical that Afghanistan takes effective action against those terrorist groups which are responsible for terror incidents and attacks inside Pakistan,” Baloch stressed during a weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

“We have also urged Afghanistan to ensure that any terror hideouts that destabilise the region should be eliminated, and we expect Afghanistan to fulfil the commitments that it has made to the international community and Pakistan specifically,” she added.