Kabul on Sunday reacted angrily to cross-border shelling by Pakistani forces even though images clearly showed that the camps and training compounds of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA) in Afghanistan were targeted in the artillery barrage.
Afghanistan’s foreign ministry, in a statement, hoped that the ‘attacks’ would stop and ties between the two neigbours would return to normal, but at the same time threatened to use “all its internal, regional and international power in response to Pakistan’s actions.”
Afghanistan’s defence ministry, meanwhile, called for finding a diplomatic solution to issues with Pakistan, but said the country retains the right to ‘retaliate’. “There are efforts to find a diplomatic resolution of the issue, but if diplomacy does not work, Afghanistan maintains the right to retaliate,” defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said on Sunday.
An Afghan political analyst, however, said Kabul would find it difficult to engage Pakistani forces militarily, if it chose that course of action. “The Afghan government does not have the ability to respond, because we do not have long-range weapons,” Tolo News quoted Haroon Mir as saying. At the same time, Afghan legal expert Nasrullah Stanekzai stressed the need to tackle the issue through diplomatic means.
In response to the recent terror wave across the country, Pakistani forces have been shelling camps of TTP and JuA. Nearly a dozen training camps and hideouts of the terrorist groups have been destroyed and over a dozen terrorists — including a top trainer of suicide bombers — have been killed in two days of artillery shelling.