Pakistan Blames Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster for Surge of Terrorist Attacks

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance gate of the Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan milita
Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the caretaker prime minister of Pakistan, told a state television audience on Friday that President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 unleashed a wave of terrorist attacks in the Pakistani border region – and some of those terrorists used American equipment abandoned by Biden.

“The reason for the recent resurgence of terrorism being witnessed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan is, unfortunately, an outcome of the rushed military withdrawal by the U.S. and NATO allies,” Kakar said on Friday, naming the two Pakistani provinces that border on Afghanistan.

“The rushed withdrawal has had an impact not just on Pakistan but also on Central Asia, China, Iran, and the whole region,” Kakar added.

According to Kakar, Pakistani officials wanted the U.S. to make a “responsible withdrawal” from Afghanistan, and they specifically warned about the danger of leaving American military equipment behind for terrorists, insurgents, and the brutal Taliban regime to seize. Kakar said terrorists are now pulling off operations in Pakistan using U.S. military weapons and gear.

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“This equipment has greatly enhanced the fighting capacity of terrorists and non-state actors in the region. Previously, they had minimal capacity, but they can now target my soldier even if he moves his finger,” he said.

Kakar’s remarks directly contradicted the Biden administration’s claims that much of the $7 billion in military equipment left behind during the chaotic 2021 withdrawal was destroyed or disabled. 

Other reports have debunked the Biden narrative, including the discovery of American arms and ammunition in the hands of Kashmir militants in January 2023. Those arms were reportedly smuggled to insurgents in Kashmir by Pakistani militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which were both supported and trained by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Taliban itself has developed a penchant for holding military parades with large numbers of weapons and vehicles abandoned by Biden. 

In March 2023, Pakistani police claimed they have been attacked by insurgents from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) using American night-vision equipment, thermal weapon sights, and rifles. The TTP has posted videos of its fighters training with captured American equipment.

The Taliban denied providing either group with weapons, but Pakistani police officials speculated the TTP was gifted with American gear in a show of gratitude for supporting the Taliban when it launched its blitzkrieg to recapture Afghanistan in 2021.

Foreign Policy (FP) reported in July that merchants across the border regions of Afghanistan are selling American rifles and handguns:

Left-behind American assault rifles command a premium: an M4 in good condition can fetch up to $2,400, a status symbol with as much cachet in the Himalayan tribal belt as a luxury handbag in Manhattan. In contrast, a Pakistan-made knock-off of an AK-47, the world’s most ubiquitous killing machine, can go for as little as $130.

… Dramatic TTP videos show apparent attacks on Pakistani police and army outposts by militants armed with American weapons and using night vision and thermal sights, which Afghan Peace Watch said in a new report are “highly sought-after accessories supplied to Afghan Special Forces.” The report quotes a Taliban fighter in Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan, as saying night vision items sell for $500 to $1,000.

Many of these arms merchants displayed permits from the Taliban regime, which is evidently profiting from the sale of abandoned U.S. military equipment. 

“The proliferation of such arms has not only made it difficult to combat terror networks regionally, the night vision equipment, in particular, is used to target Pakistani security personnel and police on a daily basis,” editor Iftikhar Firdous of the independent Pakistani group Khorasan Diary told FP. 

“What happened in Afghanistan is probably the largest case of diversion in modern history, with the huge quantities of weapons and ammunition that the Taliban received,” added Afghan Peace Watch weapons expert Justine Fleischner.

“There is much evidence to suggest that these weapons will continue to flow from Afghanistan, making it more difficult for nation-states to combat non-state actors,” Firdous said.


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