Islamabad has issued a warning that if certain demands are not met, Afghanistan could become even more heavily targeted by Pakistani attacks.
Over the past year, tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have heightened with new instances of cross-border shelling and accusations of support for insurgent groups grabbing headlines just about every month. This summer, top Afghan security officials have directly linked Pakistani intelligence (ISI) to a series of suicide attacks and broader militant offensives around the country.
According to the security source who spoke to TOLO news, there is evidence that suggests direct Pakistani involvement in the recent Taliban operations in Helmand and Nangarhar provinces.
"The strategy that the Pakistanis pursue, we also need to have such a strategy against Pakistan’s interventionist policies," political analyst Nasrullah Estankizai argued. But he did not advocate for supporting active militant groups in Pakistan, or any other tit-for-tat strategy. Instead, he said, "[Afghanistan] must also forge relations with powerful countries in the region that do not enjoy ties with Pakistan in order to put pressure on it."
Other analysts would seem to agree, advocating for a resolution to the animosities between the two neighbors through level-headed political negotiations rather than an emotional response.
Ahmad Zia Refat, a professor at Kabul University, said Afghanistan is in no position to respond to Pakistan’s interferences and aggressions with military action. “Afghanistan should seek a political way through its strong allies and the United Nations (UN) instead of using military options,” he said.
Mir Ahmad Joyenda, another political analyst, emphasized the utility of the UN Security Council. “It is still not too late,” he assured. “The government of Afghanistan must present documents and evidence of Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan to the UN Security Council, and discuss the issue at the Islamic countries conference as well.”
A member of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), speaking to TOLO news on condition of anonymity, reported this week that a Pakistani journalist was arrested in Nangarhar province under charge of cooperating with Pakistan’s intelligence agency. According to the NDS source, the Pakistani journalist is believed to have been preparing a report for ISI on the Pakistani Taliban’s activity in Afghanistan. The reporter is said to be facing a prison sentence of up to four years.