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Muttaqi meets with Qatar’s Minister of State for Int’l Cooperation in Doha

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2023)

Pakistan’s prime minister is asking the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to do more to prevent militants from crossing the border to stage attacks like the massive suicide bombing earlier this week that killed dozens in a border region.

A suicide bomber struck an election campaign rally of a pro-Taliban cleric on Sunday, killing dozens in the district of Bajur.

The death toll from the bombing rose to 55 on Tuesday, after a critically wounded person died at a hospital. An Afghan-based branch of the Islamic State group (Daesh) has claimed responsibility for the attack, Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said militants find sanctuaries inside Afghanistan, regroup and rearm there, and subsequently infiltrate Pakistan for anti-government attacks.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Tuesday Pakistan could act in “self-defense” against militants hiding in Afghanistan if Afghan authorities failed to take action amid growing attacks in the neighboring country.

Kabul has denied past accusations that it allows militant groups to launch attacks on Pakistan from its territory.

“Regarding Pakistan going there (to Afghanistan) and taking action against these terrorists, we do not want to be forced to do this, but according to international law, we have the right to self-defense,” Bhutto-Zardari told reporters.

“If we are repeatedly attacked like this, and there is not the appropriate response, we will be forced to do this. But I don’t think it should be amongst the first options for us.”

“Our preference will be that we want the officials there [in Kabul], the interim government, to act against them,” he said.

“If they need any help, then I think Pakistan should be prepared to help them,” Zardari added.