ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani official in southwestern Balochistan province on Saturday accused Taliban officials in Afghanistan of playing a “double game,” asserting that despite multiple requests from Pakistani authorities to hand over militants targeting its people and security forces, they had not received a positive response.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks and suicide bombings since the beginning of the year, which it attributes to the proscribed militant network, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), whose leadership is said to be based in Afghanistan.
After a major suicide attack in Peshawar that claimed nearly 100 lives earlier this year, Pakistan raised the issue with Kabul but complained of not receiving a favorable response.
Subsequently, officials in Islamabad launched a deportation drive against “illegal immigrants,” mostly Afghans, after informing the public that Afghan nationals in Pakistan had been found involved in most suicide attacks that had occurred during the year.
“Pakistan has been repeatedly demanding Afghan Taliban to hand over terrorists involved in the violent activities on Pakistani soil,” Jan Achakzai, Balochistan’s interim information minister, told a news conference in Quetta. “However, the Afghan Taliban are still continuing with their double game with insensitivity.”
He said Pakistan had presented its demands to the Afghan Taliban and was willing to “go to any extreme” until they were fulfilled.
Achakzai said militants involved in violent activities in Pakistan mostly possessed Afghan identity cards, showing that these migrants remained a continuing threat for the security of the country.
“For this reason, the Afghan immigrants possessing with these identity cards will also need to leave Pakistan,” he continued. “We have reached our limit. No Afghan national will be allowed to enter Pakistan without passport.”
He also warned people protesting the government decision to tighten border control and only allow people with valid travel documents to enter the country, saying the state was going to “crush those raising anti-Pakistan slogans at the sit-in near Chaman border crossing.”
The minister said the passport condition had now been fully in implemented at Pakistan’s frontier with Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, Achakzai told the media the government had given instructions to the police to arrest about 1.7 million Afghans living in Pakistan illegally.
He informed the authorities had been asked to deport 10,000 Afghan nationals every day.