Taliban Attacks Border Posts Between Pakistan-Afghanistan

The Pakistani Taliban faction attempted to carry out an attack on border posts between Afghanistan and Pakistan on the 17th of March, 2017. Eight people, including two Pakistani soldiers, have been killed in a raid on a Pakistani military border post in the Khyber tribal area, according to the Pakistan military. The raid was allegedly launched from Afghan territory on Friday and resulted in the killing of six insurgents. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued via email to media, claiming it had attacked three border posts, while being successful in capturing one.

On the same day, Pakistan’s military said it had foiled an attempted suicide attack on a paramilitary training centre in Shabqadar, in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This military operation killed several fighters, according to the Pakistani military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Meanwhile, Afghani refugees are still being funneled out of Pakistan as as result of the increased tensions between the two nations. There are still 750,000 undocumented refugees currently present in Pakistan, many of whom have been treated with abuse and coercion in order to leave the country in an attempt to hinder Taliban activity.

With the increasing number of insurgencies in the region, alongside the Afghan refugee crisis and both sovereign nations refusing to carry the blame, the level of threat perception between the two nations grows to be at an all time high. Pakistan shares a largely unpatrolled 2500KM-long mountainous border with Afghanistan, known as the Durand line, which the latter disputes. This region has become home to both Afghan and Pakistani factions of Taliban, whose influence continues to grow as both nations remain negligent. Since a wave of violence in February claimed more than 130 lives across Pakistan, Pakistani authorities have sealed the main border crossings along the Durand line, blaming Afghanistan for harboring armed oppositions. Afghanistan officially denies the charge, and has long accused Pakistan of providing sanctuary to Afghan armed groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. The level of threat perception internally and externally between the two nations has grown to be so hostile that a coalition is desperately needed to bring an end to the violence that has been present in the region since the mid-90s.

S.M. Murtasim Shah