Afghanistan warns Pakistan of ‘consequences’ of cross-border attacks


ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has strongly reacted to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif’s recent statement threatening Kabul with sending troops across the border to target militants, warning Islamabad of “consequences.”

In a statement, interim Afghan Defense Ministry spokesperson Enayatullah Khwarizmi called Khawaja Asif’s statement irresponsible and an attempt to “muddy the waters.”

“It’s necessary for the leadership of Pakistan not to allow anyone to make such sensitive statement on sensitive issues,” Khwarizmi said on X, adding that such remarks will not be in the interest of anyone.

“Anyone who violated our border under any pretext will be responsible for the consequences,” he warned.

In a recent interview with Voice of America, the defense minister accused the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of carrying out attacks inside the country, claiming that the terrorist organisation’s leadership is hiding in Afghanistan and threatening Islamabad with cross-border strikes to eliminate them.

However, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Friday did not defend the defense minister’s statement, saying Islamabad respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has always said that we respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and in that context, it is critical that Afghanistan takes effective action against those terrorist groups which are responsible for terror incidents and attacks inside Pakistan,” Baloch stressed during a weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

“We have also urged Afghanistan to ensure that any terror hideouts that destabilise the region should be eliminated, and we expect Afghanistan to fulfil the commitments that it has made to the international community and Pakistan specifically,” she added.

Islamabad accuses Kabul of providing bases for TTP militants who carry out attacks in Pakistan, a charge that Afghanistan