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Afghan envoy told to extradite man behind Bannu attack

The Foreign Office on Tuesday summoned the head of the Afghan diplomatic mission in Pakistan and conveyed to him four demands, including the extradition of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, whose group was responsible for the recent suicide attack in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu district.

The representative of the Afghan Embassy in Pakistan was called to the FO to lodge a protest against the Nov 26 suicide attack in Bannu in which two civilians were killed and 10 others, including three soldiers, injured.

Pakistani investigations concluded that the suicide bomber was an Afghan national.

This was the 16th suicide attack carried out by an Afghan national in Pakistan.

Although, the FO did not issue any handout, sources told The Express Tribune that Pakistan conveyed its serious concern to the Taliban diplomat over the repeated use of Afghan soil to carry out attacks in the country.

They revealed that the Afghan representative was conveyed four key demands.

Those demands included a complete investigation into the Bannu attack and stern action against its perpetrators as well as abettors.

The sources said Pakistan also demanded immediate “verifiable actions” against all terrorist groups and their sanctuaries in the neighbouring country.

Similarly, the Afghan Taliban representative was told to apprehend Hafiz Gul Bahadur – who once headed an off-shoot of the TTP – and hand him over to Pakistan.

Islamabad also reiterated its demand that the Kabul regime should prevent the use of Afghan soil for terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

It is not clear if the Afghan regime paid any heed to Islamabad’s latest demands as it has in the past refused to act against the terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates.

Tensions have been running high between the two countries for months over the issue.

Despite repeated demands, the Afghan Taliban government has been reluctant to neutralise the TTP.

Instead, the Afghan Taliban regime is still pushing for the revival of talks between Pakistan and the TTP.

The Afghan Taliban recently asked Pakistan to suggest alternatives to tackle the TTP problem.

The reason for the Afghan Taliban’s hesitation to act against the TTP stems from its long association with the terrorist outfit.

However, Pakistani officials in recent days minced no words that the Afghan Taliban were controlling the TTP.

Since the return of the Afghan Taliban to power in the neighbouring country in Aug 2021, the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan went up by 60% while suicide attacks by a staggering 500%.

 

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