Pakistan rejects interim Afghan govt’s offer to facilitate talks with TTP
Earlier this week, Afghan government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Kabul could play a mediating role between Pakistan and the TTP.

at 11:29 pm
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch

Islamabad, July 11: Tensions between Pakistan and neighbour Afghanistan continued to simmer, with the Foreign Office on Thursday rejecting the interim Afghan government’s offer to facilitate talks between Islamabad and the terrorist group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“There will not be any talks with groups involved in the killing of citizens of Pakistan and other countries,” FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said at a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

“The terrorist entity is involved in the killing of Pakistani and foreign citizens inside Pakistan,” she said.

Earlier this week, interim Afghan government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Kabul could play a mediating role between Pakistan and the banned terror group if it receives a go ahead from Islamabad.

Pakistan has seen a rise in terrorist activities in the terrorist attacks, with the country blaming the outlawed group for the killings and urging the Afghan Taliban to take action against them.

In May, Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi confirmed that the attack on Chinese citizens in Bisham in March was carried out using Afghan territory. The attack led to the death of six Chinese engineers. Naqvi revealed that Pakistan has raised the issue with the Afghan interim government but has yet to receive any positive response.

FO spokesperson Baloch said that Pakistan respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We expect the Afghan authorities to uphold their sovereignty and take action against terrorist groups which have found sanctuaries inside Afghanistan and using their territory for terrorist attacks against Pakistan.”

Responding to a question, Baloch said Pakistan is committed to implementing the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan [IFRP].

“The IFRP is meant for the implementation of the laws of Pakistan,” she said, adding that the plan was designed to launch an action against the illegal immigrants residing in Pakistan without documentation.

She further stated that illegal immigrants from several countries have been sent back to their respective countries under the IFRP.

While referring to the repatriation of illegal foreigners including Afghans to their home countries, the FO spokesperson said that the first phase of this plan was near completion.

Clarifying there were multiple categories of Afghan refugees residing in the country, the spokesperson stressed the country had not given any understanding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about the “suspension” of the plan.

She pointed out that the government had extended the validity of the Proof of Registration cards of the Afghan refugees for a year.

In a July 9 meeting with top Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, UNHCR Filippo Grandi appreciated the country for “suspending the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan”, a statement from the UN body had said.

The statement further said that Grandi had also sought assurance from Pakistani authorities that the repatriation plan would remain on hold.