Pakistani Citizens Make The Bulk Of Foreign Terrorists In Afghanistan – UN Report

There are approximately 6,500 Pakistani terrorists operating in Afghanistan and Pak-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba facilitate the process of recruiting global terrorists into Afghanistan, a UN report stated.

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The report, from the UN Security Council’s analytical support and sanctions monitoring team, observed that Pakistani terrorists comprised the bulk of foreign terrorists in Afghanistan and pose a serious threat to the country’s national security.

The report stated the Afghan Taliban’s role as a reliable counter-terrorism ally post the US-Taliban peace deal will need comprehensive analysis because of the “number of foreign terrorist fighters in search of a purpose and livelihood in Afghanistan, including up to 6,500 Pakistanis”.

Indian external affairs ministry expressed “serious concern” about the leadership of al-Qaeda and a large number of foreign terrorists present in Afghanistan. The report, he said, “vindicates India’s long-standing position that Pakistan remains the epicentre of international terrorism”.

The UN report said Afghan officials accentuated Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), JeM and LeT among the global terror organizations that posed a serious security threat to Afghanistan. All three groups have a presence in the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar and Nuristan, “where they operate under the umbrella of the Afghan Taliban”, the report said.

Afghan interlocutors said JeM and LeT “facilitate the trafficking of terrorist fighters into Afghanistan, who act as advisers, trainers and specialists in improvised explosive devices”.

The report added: “Both groups are engaged in targeted assassinations against government officials and others. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-i-Mohammed are believed to have nearly 800 and 200 armed fighters, respectively, co-located with Taliban forces in Mohmand Darah, Dur Baba and Sherzad districts of Nangarhar Province.”

In Kunar province, LeT “retains a further 220 fighters” and JeM “has a further 30, all of whom are dispersed within Taliban forces”, according to the report. The TTP in Afghanistan is led by Noor Wali Mehsud and the group is thought to have about 500 fighters in Kunar and about 180 in Nangarhar.

The UN report also highlighted the intimate connections between the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda despite the US-Taliban Peace deal. The agreement provided for the drawdown of US troops in exchange for counter-terrorism measures by the Afghan Taliban and intra-Afghan talks aimed at a permanent ceasefire.

“Early indications are that many, if not all, of these objectives, will prove challenging,” the report said.

The report further said the Haqqani Network continues to be close to al-Qaeda. It added that al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri met members of the Haqqani Network as recently as February. The report also highlighted the presence of Pakistani terrorists in the Islamic State’s Khorasan chapter, such as commander Abdullah Orakzai alias Aslam Farooqi, who was arrested with 21 others in Kandahar.