US urges Afghanistan to stop terrorists from using its soil

"We support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and ensure safety, security of its citizens," State Dept says

Wajid Ali Syed
April 18, 2024
Security personnel take position after suicide bombers attacked a Methodist Church during a Sunday service in Quetta on December 17, 2017. —AFP
Security personnel take position after suicide bombers attacked a Methodist Church during a Sunday service in Quetta on December 17, 2017. —AFP

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Thursday backed Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism and urged the Taliban rulers to stop terrorists from using Afghanistan's soil.

In a conversation with Geo News, a State Department spokesperson said, "We support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and ensure the safety and security of its citizens in a manner that promotes the rule of law and protection of human rights."

The spokesperson said the Pakistani people had suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists and no country should have to suffer such acts of terror.

“We urge the Taliban to ensure that Afghan soil is not used to support terrorist groups, movement of terrorists, or acts of terrorism.

“We have been very clear that we will judge the Taliban by what they do, not what they say. The Taliban wants international legitimacy. This requires the Taliban to meet their commitments to the international community,” the official said.

The spokesperson said the most enduring interest for the US in Afghanistan was to ensure that it never again became a safe haven for terrorists, especially those who wished harm to the US or its partners or allies.

"We are in regular communication with Pakistani leaders as a part of our partnership on counterterrorism issues. We continue to discuss Afghanistan in detail, including through our annual counterterrorism dialogue and other bilateral consultations."

Islamabad has time and again urged Kabul to take meaningful action against terrorists using Afghan soil to launch attacks inside Pakistan.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Army’s top commanders were briefed on how terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan pose a threat to regional and global security, besides acting as proxies against Pakistan and its economic interests, especially the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A day ago, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said security forces had killed seven terrorists trying to infiltrate the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the North Waziristan district.

In a statement, the military’s media wing had said the security forces on April 16 had detected a movement of a group of seven terrorists near the border in the Spinkai area of Ghulam Khan in the tribal district.

A large quantity of weapons, ammunition, and explosives was also recovered from the killed terrorists, the statement added.

The statement highlighted that Pakistan had consistently been asking the Taliban-led interim Afghan government to ensure effective border management on their side of the border.

The military had urged the interim rulers to fulfil their obligations and deny the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for perpetuating acts of terrorism against Pakistan.

Last month, Pakistan carried out an intelligence-based anti-terrorist operation inside Afghanistan whose prime target was the terrorists belonging to Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group along with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group had earlier claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack.

“This group is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, resulting in the death of hundreds of civilians and law-enforcement officials. The latest attack took place on 16 March 2024 at a security post in Mir Ali in North Waziristan and claimed the lives of seven Pakistani soldiers,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said on March 18 after the operation.