Pakistani Interior Minister Calls On Taliban to Hand Over TTP Leaders

Monday, 05/27/2024

The Pakistani Interior Minister, Mohsin Naqvi, asserted on Sunday that the Pakistani Taliban are behind the killing of five Chinese engineers in Pakistan.

He urged the Afghan Taliban to hand over Pakistani Taliban leaders, including Noor Wali Mehsud, to maintain "amicable relations" with Islamabad.

On March 26, a suicide attack targeted a convoy of Chinese engineers in the Basham area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killing six, including five Chinese nationals. The Pakistani Taliban has denied any role in this incident.

During a press conference in Lahore, Naqvi addressed the Taliban, "We call on the interim Taliban government to arrest and extradite leaders of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, including Noor Wali Mehsud, to preserve the friendly ties between our countries."

The Taliban have rejected Islamabad's requests for the expulsion and extradition of Pakistani Taliban leaders and members. Despite harbouring the TTP, the Taliban have also denied responsibility for the militant activities of the Pakistani Taliban in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, labelling it as Pakistan's internal issue.

Naqvi revealed that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan orchestrated the attack on Chinese nationals in Basham, with the perpetrators now arrested. "We possess undeniable evidence on this matter," he claimed.

He warned that "terrorists are exploiting the vulnerabilities of the interim Afghan government [Taliban] and are creating security issues for Pakistan across the border”. Following these incidents, he noted that surveillance has been intensified along the borders of the two countries.

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