(AbsoluteNews.com) – Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan has been a dangerous place since the Taliban took power after the US pulled its troops out. In February, the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, were holed up along the Afghan border and launched an attack into Pakistan, killing five of its military members.
The militants have carried out multiple attacks on Pakistan since the Afghan Taliban became a governing force again. In response, the Pakistani military has periodically responded by firing rockets into Afghanistan along the eastern border. Recently, the military significantly increased the force it’s using to go after the TTP.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 16, the Pakistani military carried out airstrikes in the Khost and Kunar provinces. Although they were aiming for militants, civilians were caught in the attack. According to the New York Times, local officials counted 45 people dead on Sunday, including some children.
The airstrikes marked an increase in force by the Pakistani government which believes the Afghan Taliban is harboring TTP militants – a claim the Afghans deny.
Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement on Twitter regarding the attacks threatening the neighboring country. He said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan condemns Pakistan for its “attacks on refugees in Khost and Kunar.” Mujahid went on to say the Pakistani government would be smart to not “test the patience of Afghans” because if they carry out attacks again, they will face “bad consequences.”
Failed Pakistani Policies
When the Afghan Taliban took power last year, the Pakistani government celebrated the event. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan declared Afghanistan had “broken the shackles of slavery.” The PM, known for his hatred of the West, along with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistani military, long supported the Afghan Taliban retaking power in the neighboring country.
However, while the Pakistani government supported the Afghan Taliban, it did not support the TTP. It believes the Pakistani sect of the Taliban is a terrorist organization trying to overthrow the government, much as the Afghan Taliban did. Eventually, tension mounted between the two countries over the presence of TTP militants along the border. The Pakistani government is now building a fence along the border to keep militants out, much to the annoyance of the Afghans.
In the wake of the airstrikes, the Afghan Taliban is now demanding Pakistan work out its problems diplomatically. The Pakistani government has not publicly responded.
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