Report notes growing presence of ISIL-K in Afghanistan and warns of its ‘global agenda’
An estimated 6,000-6,500 members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar are reportedly based in Afghanistan and pose a threat to both countries, a new U.N. report has warned.
The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team on activities of the Islamic State (militant group, Al Qaeda, and associated groups said that the TTP leadership was operating from Afghanistan and had claimed responsibility for various high-profile attacks in Pakistan.
Pakistan seeks an orderly withdrawal of foreign forces and power transition to a truly representative of Afghanistan in an organized mannerA Pakistani Defense Observer
The report said that many former TTP militants had joined Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) and member states believed the group and its various splinter groups would align themselves with it.
The report also warned about the growing presence of the ISIL-K in Afghanistan, claiming that the group had now adopted a global agenda that posed a risk to countries far beyond Afghanistan. It said that the ISIL-K considers Afghan territory as a base for spreading terrorist influence across the wider region.
Commenting on the report, former head of an Islamabad-based think tank Khan Hasham Bin Saddiq tells DesPardes that an orderly withdrawal of foreign forces and power transition to a truly representative of Afghanistan in an organized manner would help the 18-year war ravaged country not going into a chaos.
Only then, says the former Vice Admiral and envoy to Saudi Arabia, “people who harbored terrorists and extremist agenda will not be able to establish a foothold for their activities in every country and across the border.”
A senior Pakistani military official said earlier that, “Taliban are amiable to Pakistan authorities till the time it’s favoring them but the moment it comes to their interests they are as hostile as any are”.
The official told DesPardes on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorized to comment officially.
Al Qaeda, says the report, is covertly active in 12 Afghan provinces and its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is also based in Afghanistan. It claims that there are between 400 and 600 Al Qaeda fighters currently based in Afghanistan.