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Afghanistan-Pakistan border sanctuary for terror groups: US | World News

New Delhi: The US Department of Defence in its report on Afghanistan has said the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for various terror groups. These groups include al-Qaeda Core (AQ), al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K). 

The report said, “Terrorist sanctuaries on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border present security challenges for both the countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan), pose a threat to regional security and stability, and threaten US national security interests.”

Highlighting interest of US in Afghanistan, the report said, Washington wants to “ensure the country is never again used as a safe haven from which terrorists can attack the United States or our allies or interests abroad”. It also said, “accordingly, the primary US government’s objective in Afghanistan is to support the Afghan government’s effort to obtain a durable political settlement that ends the war and mitigates terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan”.

The report also highlighted the “close ties” al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate–AQIS has maintained with Taliban. In June, a United Nations (UN) report said that about 6,500 Pakistanis as foreign terrorist fighters are present in Afghanistan including 1,000 belonging to Pakistan-based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Most of the JeM and LeT fighters are co-located with Taliban fighters and are hand in glove with them, the report said.

The UN monitoring team in its annual technical update to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) said, “The number of foreign terrorist fighters in search of a purpose and livelihood in Afghanistan, including up to 6,500 Pakistanis, will render this a complex challenge, which will require careful monitoring.

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