The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has worsened the terror situation in the country.
In 2021, terror incidents increased by a massive 42 percent over the last year according to the Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), reported The New York Times on Tuesday.
A significant surge in incidents was recorded after Kabul fell to the Taliban. The PIPS report also went on to say that the change in Afghanistan is “not helping in any way Pakistan’s efforts to deal with the militant groups threatening its security.”
The Pakistan Taliban, which was considerably weakened by late 2020, has regrouped and is said to be involved in running extortion rackets throughout Pakistan.
“Traders are forced to pay huge amounts of extortion money because of fear,” The New York Times quoted a Karachi-based trader, Muhammad Azam as saying.
“If a trader refuses to pay it, the militants detonate small bombs near their homes to frighten them into succumbing to their demands. If they continue to refuse payment, militants harm them or their family members,” Azam further said.
Terrorists have also been particularly targeting polio vaccination teams. Police officers to protect such teams have been on the target.
In 2021, militants, mainly belonging to the Pakistani Taliban, killed 48 policemen and injured 44 others in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most of the violent incidents took place in the last few months of the year (after the Taliban takeover).
Despite repeated attempts, Pakistan has been unable to get firm guarantees from the Afghan Taliban that they would take action against the Pakistani Taliban operating in Afghanistan, the publication said. Taliban also refuses to accept the Durand Line as the boundary between the two countries.
In the past two months, there have been clashes between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani forces along the Durand Line in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Nimroz, Kunar, and Khost provinces over the construction of barbed wire fences, some of which have been fenced off by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
However, the top leadership in Pakistan continues to argue for international recognition of the new Taliban regime.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with CNN said, “The only alternative we have right now is to work with them (Taliban) and incentivize them for what the world wants: inclusive government, human rights, and women’s rights in particular.”