Pakistan says it handed over 27 Taliban, Haqqani Network militants to Afghanistan; Kabul denies claim

In his first tweets this year, Trump had accused Pakistan of playing a 'double game' on fighting terrorism and asked Islamabad to take decisive action against militants operating from its soil to 'earn' the US aid.

FP Staff January 31, 2018 16:45:21 IST
Pakistan says it handed over 27 Taliban, Haqqani Network militants to Afghanistan; Kabul denies claim

Afghanistan on Wednesday rejected Pakistan's claims that it had handed over 27 Taliban and Haqqani network prisoners to Afghanistan last year.

"Pakistan has not handed over any members of these groups," an official source was quoted as saying by TOLO News.

This comes after a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Office Mohammad Faisal claimed on Tuesday that Pakistan handed over 27 individuals suspected of having ties to Taliban and Haqqani network to Afghan officials last year.

Pakistan says it handed over 27 Taliban Haqqani Network militants to Afghanistan Kabul denies claim

Representational image. Reuters

In a series of tweets, Faisal said Pakistan "continued to push any suspected TTA (Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan) and HN (Haqqnai Network) elements to prevent them from using our soil for any terrorist activity in Afghanistan."

"In this context, 27 individuals suspected of belonging to TTA & HN have been handed over to Afghanistan in November 2017," he tweeted.

In his new South Asia Policy in last August, US President Donald Trump had called for tougher measure against Pakistan if it fails to cooperate with the US in its fight against terrorism.

In his first tweets this year, Trump had accused Pakistan of playing a "double game" on fighting terrorism and asked Islamabad to take decisive action against militants operating from its soil to "earn" the US aid.

Attacking Pakistan, he also said they have given America "nothing but lies and deceit" despite having received more than $33 billion in last 15 years.

The United States later suspended its $255 million military aid to Pakistan.

The FO spokesman also said that "Pakistan has sacrificed 75,000 civilians & 6000 soldiers to the scourge of terrorism". He said that Pakistan has one of the highest officer-to-soldier casualty rate globally, as traditionally officers lead the fight.

About economic losses in the war on terror, Faisal said that Pakistan "suffered economic losses worth $123 billion".

Meanwhile, a high-level Afghan delegation, comprising the country's Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and the chief of its intelligence agency the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Masoom Stanekzai have arrived in Islamabad to discuss "possible cooperation to tackle cross border militancy".

Announcing this on social media, Faisal said that had also brought a message from Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.

The visit by Afghan delegation comes after a recent wave of deadly attacks in Kabul, including ambulance bombing that killed around 100 people for which the Taliban and the Daesh took responsibility.

"Afghan government had requested that a high-level delegation comprising Interior Minister and NDS chief would like to visit Pakistan with a message from Afghan President and for discussions about cooperation between the two countries. Delegation is here and will have talks today," he tweeted.

Official sources said that the two sides would discuss possible cooperation to tackle cross border militancy as both countries are victims of such attacks.

The two sides often allege each other for failing to stop militants using their soils for lethal attacks.

With inputs from agencies

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