Taliban neither good nor bad, will be hunted down, Pakistan reaffirms


–FO doesn’t rule out hot pursuit of TTP terrorists into Afghanistan, says country will continue indiscriminate action against militants


ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday reiterated that Pakistan does not discriminate between good or bad Taliban and would continue to hunt all Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists indiscriminately.

“Pakistan will continue to hunt ‘all’ the TTP persons if need be,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said when asked to clarify whether the chase would limit to Pakistan’s territory only or extend to Afghanistan’s soil as well.

Speaking at a media briefing at the FO, the spokesman said that the ceasefire truce between the Afghan government and Taliban on the eve of Eid was a “step in right direction, which Pakistan supported and welcomed”.

He said Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan’s stability was clear and it believed that the only viable solution lied in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

The spokesman officially confirmed the killing of terrorist Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan and said that the news was received in Pakistan with relief especially among the families who lost their loved ones including the martyrs of Army Public School.

On the recent report by the UN High Commission for Human Rights, the spokesman said that Pakistan was ready to facilitate the visit of international observers to the areas of Kashmir linked with Pakistan, provided India offered to do the same. He went on to say that Pakistan had nothing to hide from the world while India was shying away and was trying to cover its blatant human rights violations.

“If India really has nothing to hide, it can address its claims of the report being based on unverified information by allowing the COI and OIC IPHRC access to IOK,” he said.

Dr Faisal further said that Pakistan welcomed the OHCHR report’s recommendation for an independent, international commission of Inquiry to assess the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir which was consistent with several calls by Pakistan since 2016.

The spokesman mentioned that the report was sharply critical of the human rights atrocities including the use of pellet guns, draconian laws including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the SPA, use of rape to subjugate dissent, communication blockade and violation of the right to life, health, education and peaceful protests.

“India’s knee-jerk rejection of the report indicates its complete insensitivity to international law and its deplorable intransigence, which has delayed the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute since the last seven decades and holds the regional peace and development hostage,” he said.