The Afghan Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, announced on Wednesday that the interim Afghan government is open to investigating yesterday’s deadly attack in Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), asserting that the Pakistani military should have prevented such incidents on its territory.
A day earlier, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, had reported that a group of six terrorists targeted a security forces’ check post in the Daraban general area in DI Khan district in the early hours of Tuesday. The assailants attempted to breach the post, leading to a thwarted attack that culminated in an explosive-laden vehicle being rammed into the post, followed by a suicide bombing.
The military’s media wing stated, “The resulting blasts led to the collapse of the building, causing multiple casualties; 23 brave soldiers embraced shahadat, while all six terrorists were effectively engaged and sent to hell.” The Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), affiliated with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response to Pakistan’s call for an investigation, Mujahid told Reuters, “If they ask for an investigation, if they share the details with us, we will do the investigation”. He emphasised that the incident had no connection with Afghanistan, dismissing Islamabad’s claim as baseless, according to Tolo News.
Following the attack, Pakistan’s foreign secretary summoned the chargé d’affaires of the interim Afghan government, delivering a strong demarche. The chargé d’affaires was urged to conduct a thorough investigation, take action against perpetrators, publicly condemn the incident, and hand over TTP leadership in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s foreign secretary stated, “Today’s terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the terrorist threat to peace and stability in the region. We must act resolutely with all our collective might to defeat this menace. On its part, Pakistan remains steadfast in its commitment to combat terrorism.”
Meanwhile, sources suggested that Pakistan was considering “drastic and decisive” actions against the responsible terrorist group.
The DI Khan attack occurred despite Pakistan’s previous warning to the Afghan Taliban to control terrorist sanctuaries. Pakistan had communicated that any future attacks linked to Afghanistan would result in a robust response.
While Pakistan has not disclosed specific retaliatory measures, sources indicated that cross-border strikes and drone attacks targeting terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan are under consideration. Islamabad views the DI Khan attack as a serious provocation, vowing to ensure that those responsible face consequences.
Pakistan has consistently urged the Afghan government to take action against the TTP and its affiliates.