Pakistan Fears Cross-Border Terrorism Against CPEC After Taliban Takeover - Ex-Senator


Pakistan Fears Cross-Border Terrorism Against CPEC After Taliban Takeover - Ex-Senator

ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 01st September, 2021) Pakistan is concerned that Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban (banned in Russia) may become a source of cross-border terrorism, including against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Sehar Kamran, a former senator and presently a member of Pakistan's Senate Forum for Policy Research, told Sputnik.

"It needs to be seen if the Taliban ... [are] able to stop groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [also known as the Pakistani Taliban] and the anti-China East Turkistan Islamic Movement [banned in Russia], which supported ... them during the Afghan war. It is important that transnational terrorist groups are not allowed to operate from the Afghan soil to carry out terror attacks inside Pakistan. Pakistan has a lot at stake, especially with regards to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor," Kamran said.

Beijing has already expressed its concerns about the safety of its investments in the country following the recent terrorist attacks against the Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects, the official recalled, noting that Pakistan is already struggling to become economically stable and cannot afford any instability.

"Pakistan's socioeconomic sphere could not also bear the burden of any more Afghan refugees as the country currently hosts 3.5 million refugees," Kamran added.

When asked about other threats that may emanate from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to Pakistan, Kamran listed the use of Afghan territory against Pakistan by the TTP and fears that "warlordism could return in Afghanistan with militias wreaking havoc in the country, which, in turn, could cause instability in Pakistan," especially in the Afghan-Pakistani border areas.

Another serious concern among policy-making circles in Pakistan relates to a possible resurgence in local terrorist groups inspired by the Taliban, the ex-senator said, adding they may feel emboldened to resume terrorist activities inside the country.

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, the international community has raised concerns about increased risks of terrorism in the region and beyond.