Tue, 07 Feb 2023

Washington [US], December 9 (ANI): The US exit from Afghanistan last year had bolstered Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) activities with its base in the war-torn country still intact, Pakistan's counter-terrorism authority in Islamabad told the country's Senate Standing Committee on Interior.

The TTP gained considerable ground and increased its footprint and magnitude of activities during the peace talks process, The News International newspaper reported.

"It was also noted that strong public opposition to returning to Swat is a positive development," the Pakistan newspaper said citing the briefing of counter-terrorism authority to the interior committee.

Last month, the TTP formally withdrew its ceasefire agreement with Pakistan, which was formally declared in June.

The withdrawal of the ceasefire agreement on November 28 was followed by a wave of terror attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Notably, the United States this month designated four terrorists of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and TTP, as global terrorists. The Biden administration said that it is committed to ensuring that terrorist groups do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism.

"The United States is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, including al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as part of our relentless efforts to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism," State Secretary Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The US designated the deputy emir of TTP Qari Amjad, who oversees operations and militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

The Afghan Taliban as part of the exit accord with the US vowed not to host terror groups, however, a UN Security Council report earlier this year said the movement has failed to fully cut ties with al-Qaeda and TTP.

Islamabad has also clashed with the Taliban government for providing a safe haven for members of TTP, whose main goal is to topple the Pakistani government. (ANI)

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