Afghanistan national security adviser has accused Pakistan, without directly naming the country, of providing financial and logistical support to Islamic State terrorists in Afghanistan. Hanif Atmar told journalists yesterday in Jalalabad that his country’s security forces this week arrested three IS terrorists led by a militant from Tajikistan and interrogations of the men revealed they were receiving support from abroad.
Atmar said the majority of IS terrorists in Afghanistan came from Pakistan and have identity documents that proved their citizenship. The Pakistani militants, he said, were joined by militants from Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Atmar blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to elements who carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
Afghan authorities have long accused Pakistan of supporting the Afghan Taliban and giving top leaders safe refuge. However, authorities have not previously accused Pakistan of supporting IS, which opposes the Afghan Taliban. Afghan forces in fierce battles this week in Nangarhar’s Kot district claimed to have killed more than 135 IS terrorists. Officials also confirmed the killing of at least 12 security personnel. Pakistani officials deny the allegations of supporting IS but say they need to study Atmar’s statement before issuing a formal rebuttal.