PM Kakar firm about US weapons being used against Pakistan

By
Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar addressing a press conference regarding the repatriation of illegal immigrants, Islamabad, 8 November 8, 2023. — PMO
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar addressing a press conference regarding the repatriation of illegal immigrants, Islamabad, 8 November 8, 2023. — PMO

  • US State Dept denies leaving behind any equipment or weaponry.
  • PM asks about weapons held by 150,000-strong Afghan military.
  • Pakistan's stance based on facts, not conspiracy theories, he says.


ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-Ul-Haq Kakar emphasised Islamabad stands firm on its stance regarding United States' weapons being used for terrorism in Pakistan, highlighting that it is being sold in the black market not just in the country, but throughout the region as well as the Middle East.

The premier's remarks came while responding to a question by Geo News during a press conference at the PM House in Islamabad, a day after the US State Department denied leaving any equipment behind by American forces during the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“We are aware of the reports of multiple attacks on Pakistani security forces and facilities earlier in November and we offer our condolences to the families of the victims, but I want to be very clear about this: There was no equipment left behind by American forces during the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” US State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a news briefing.

Meanwhile, PM Kakar said that America's acknowledgement or disavowal of its weapons being used in Pakistan is irrelevant, as there is objective evidence which confirms that these weapons are making their way into the black market and are being used too.

Pakistan's stance, PM Kakar asserted, is grounded in facts and not conspiracy theories.

The premier, when addressing journalists, spoke about the disappearance of the 150,000-strong Afghan military within a mere two days, raising questions over the unaccounted-for fate of their weapons.

He asked where the small arms and equipment they possessed had gone.

‘Afghanistan not our fifth province’

Commenting on the migrant crisis unfolding in the country in the wake of the repatriation of those belonging to Afghanistan, the premier said Pakistan has the moral and legal right to send back illegally residing foreigners to their homeland.

“Illegal immigrants play a major role in spreading insecurity in Pakistan. The government’s recent actions are neither unexpected nor surprising, caretaker prime minister,” he said in a policy statement during the presser.

PM Kakar added that 1.4 million Afghan refugees are registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan in addition to those residing illegally.

The premier said Pakistan has the data of 25,000 Afghans, who have to relocate to different countries.

“These 25,000 Afghans also have to go, those who will take them are also ready, we will not keep them. Afghanistan is not our fifth province, it is a separate country,” he asserted.

No matter what happens, it is not possible for them to return from this policy, Kakar added.

When asked if the government will also send other illegal migrants residing in Karachi, apart from Afghans, the premier said: “Do we have to do all the work?”

He reiterated that both Pakistan and Afghanistan have a close relationship of neighbourliness, religion and brotherhood and that the unprecedented demonstration of brotherhood with Afghanistan in the last four decades is a practical example of this relationship.

“Whenever there was a difficult time for Afghanistan, Pakistan gave full assistance to Afghanistan and shared its pain. Pakistan welcomed four million Afghan citizens with open hearts in 44 years,” he added.

He maintained that Pakistan supported the Afghan brothers despite limited resources.

“The limited and meagre assistance of international organisations is not even ten-tenth of the support given to Pakistan over four decades,” he stated.

'60% increase in terrorism in Pakistan after Taliban takeover in Afghanistan'

PM Kakar reiterated that the repatriation decision was a result of the state’s fears related to the increasing terrorism in the country with activities being carried out using Afghan soil, as well as terrorists belonging to Afghanistan.

“After the interim government in Afghanistan in August 2021, there was strong hope for lasting peace. Pakistan expected that the Afghan government would take strict action against the anti-Pakistan groups, especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)” he said.

However, he added, after the establishment of the interim Afghan government, the incidents of terrorism in Pakistan increased by 60% and suicide attacks increased by 500%.

In the last two years, the lives of 2,067 innocent citizens were lost in bloodshed, he said.

“TTP terrorists are responsible for taking the lives of innocent citizens and bloodshed in Pakistan. They are using the Afghan territory to carry out cowardly attacks on Pakistan’s territory,” he reiterated.

The premier said 15 Afghan citizens were also involved in suicide attacks During this period, while 64 died fighting with Pakistan's law enforcement agencies.

“Every 15 days since February 2023, Pakistan has been informing the Afghan interim government about the situation,” he said, adding that no action by them was taken to resolve the issue.

The Afghan interim government was also given a list of Pakistan's most wanted terrorists in Afghanistan, he said, adding that no action has been taken against the anti-Pakistan terrorists.

“Instead of taking any concrete steps, the Afghan government has repeatedly advised Pakistan to focus on its own internal situation. After this behaviour and non-cooperation of the Afghan government, Pakistan decided to correct its internal affairs under your help,” PM Kakar insisted.

The prime minister regretted the “unnecessary and irresponsible” threatening statements of some Afghan leaders, stating that they are “spoiling the atmosphere”.

“After the statements of the Afghan leaders, the extraordinary increase in the recent incidents of terrorism is meaningful and confirms the state’s concerns.