Taliban Threatens to Attack Pakistan After Airstrikes in Afghanistan

Protestors shout slogans and hold a banner during a demonstration against the Pakistani at
JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban regime responded angrily to Pakistani airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan on Friday, denouncing the attacks as violations of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and warning of “dire consequences” if such operations continue.

Pakistan’s uneasy relationship with the Taliban took a turn for the worse on Friday when Pakistani helicopters allegedly crossed the border to launch a pre-dawn assault on several locations in the eastern provinces of Khost and Kunar.

Afghan provincial officials claimed over 40 civilians were killed by the Pakistani attack, including several children.

The Pakistani military lectured the “government of Afghanistan” (the Taliban) to “secure the Pak-Afghan Border region and take stern actions against the individuals involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan.”

According to Pakistani officials, the strikes were launched in retaliation for the death of seven Pakistani soldiers at the hands of “terrorists operating from Afghanistan.”


Pakistan’s traders and Afghan nationals gather at the Pakistan-Afghan border in Chaman on February 26, 2022, as hundreds of people were stranded at a key border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, days after fighting between security forces left at least three dead. (Photo by ABDUL BASIT/AFP via Getty Images)

“Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including TTP, have continued to attack Pakistan’s border security posts, resulting in the martyrdom of several Pakistani troops,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.

“TTP” refers to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the “Pakistani Taliban,” a militant group whose stated objective is to overthrow the Islamist government of Pakistan and replace it with an Islamic “caliphate.”

The TTP responded to the airstrikes by accusing Pakistan of war crimes and cowardice.

“We want to tell the Pakistani army that every war has a principle and Pakistan has violated every principle of war up to date. We challenge the Pakistan army to fight us in the battlefield instead of bombing oppressed people and refugee camps,” a TTP spokesman said on Saturday.

The Taliban’s “Foreign Ministry” on Saturday summoned the Pakistani ambassador to condemn the airstrikes on Khost and Kunar, passing along a formal letter of objection for delivery to the Pakistani government.

“All military encroachments including those in Kunar and Khost provinces must be prevented as acts as such will deteriorate bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Deterioration of relations will have dire consequences,” said the Taliban terrorist group’s “foreign minister,” Amir Khan Muttaqi.

“The defeat of the United States eight months ago was a good lesson to aggressors who want to disrespect Afghanistan’s territory and freedom,” a public statement from the Taliban said.

On Sunday, the Afghan mission to the United Nations condemned the Pakistani strikes as violating international law, the U.N. charter, and Afghanistan’s territorial integrity.

“Pakistan’s rockets have claimed the lives of scores of civilians in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces over the past 20 years. Killings of civilians and assault on territorial integrity has no justification,” the Afghan statement to the U.N. said.

pakistan prime minister

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on August 5, 2020, to mark the one-year anniversary after New Delhi imposed direct rule on Indian-administered Kashmir. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan underwent a change of leadership last week, as Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from office with a parliamentary vote of no confidence and replaced by Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of Khan’s predecessor Nawaz Sharif.

Khan was a former sports star and aristocratic playboy who became an outspoken Islamist as prime minister and celebrated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 as a victory against the “mental slavery” of the West. Shehbaz Sharif appears to be a more businesslike politician who says he wants a more “positive” relationship with the U.S. and Europe.


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