A day after the Taliban denied the presence of Pakistani fighters in Afghanistan, Jalil Abbas Jilani Pakistan’s acting foreign minister, announced that members of the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had been arrested in Afghanistan.
He urged the Taliban to address the issues in accordance with their legal obligations.
During a press conference held on Thursday, Jilani responded to media reports, including Afghanistan International’s, concerning the arrest of these militants. He mentioned that the Taliban had informed the Pakistani delegation during their visit to Kabul on September 11 about the arrest of TTP members.
Taliban has not yet commented on the issue. Zabihullah Mujahid, the groups’ spokesperson on September 27, emphasised that foreign militias, including the Pakistani Taliban, are not present in Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials have not yet announced the number of arrested militants who are said to be held at the Pul-e-Charkhi and Jalalabad prisons. According to the reports, around 200 militants have been arrested by the Taliban.
These militants had been arrested following the attack of TTP on Pakistan’s security forces in Chitral region on September 6. The attack was followed by criticism from Pakistani officials regarding the Taliban's failure to uphold to their commitment to control the Pakistani militias in Afghanistan. According to Islamabad, these militias are based in Afghanistan and use the country as a base to infiltrate Pakistani territory.
According to Pakistani media outlet Express Tribune, Pakistan's Foreign Minister referred to the visit of the Pakistani delegation led by Asif Durrani, the country's special representative for Afghanistan affairs, on September 11 as "highly valuable." He expressed optimism that the Afghan Taliban would honour their commitment to Pakistan.
In this meeting, Taliban promised to stop the activities of TTP in Afghanistan. Also, they agreed on reviewing the management and security of both sides of the border.
Jilani stressed that if the TTP threat is not eliminated, Pakistan will explore all options to protect itself. Earlier, the Pakistani officials had threatened that the country's forces would attack the militias in Afghanistan.