Islamabad concerned over rising militancy along Pak-Afghan border

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Voicing concern over the uptick in militancy along the Pak-Afghan border, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador has warned that unless the economic situation improves in Afghanistan, the Taliban may begin to lose members to more militant groups like ISIS or ISIL.

In an interview with Newsweek, a leading American magazine, the Pakistani envoy specifically named insurgent outfits such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Balochistan Liberation Army, both of which have increasingly targeted Pakistani personnel and civilians, but also the regional ISIS Khorasan branch, called ISIS-K or ISIL-K, saying that sometimes these groups worked together against Pakistan’s interests.

“We have to deal with this,” Ambassador Akram said, “and we are determined to deal with this internally.”

And while he said, “we’ve dealt with this in the past,” he warned that new challenges have emerged in trying to influence the Taliban-led government that taking on all of these groups was in its immediate interest.

“Now we have a situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban need to be convinced to deal with all of the terrorist movements not only ISIL-K, which they are fighting, but others,” Akram said. “We understand the situation, but we have to find an effective strategy of dealing with it.”

In addition to TTP and BLA, he said that other groups such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement comprising of militants of Uyghur descent, and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan comprising of militants of Uzbek descent also needed to be combated.