ISLAMABAD — A high-level Pakistani delegation met with Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities on Thursday and urged “decisive action” against militants who allegedly used Afghan soil to orchestrate cross-border attacks, including a recent suicide car bombing that killed five Chinese engineers. 

Kabul hosted the meeting several days after Islamabad revealed it had apprehended about a dozen suspects in connection with the deadly assault on Chinese civilians in March, saying an Afghan national carried out the bombing with the support of his handlers sheltering in Afghanistan. The victims were working on a China-funded hydropower project in northwestern Pakistan. 

Officials said Deputy Taliban Interior Minister Muhammad Nabi Omari and his Pakistani counterpart, Muhammad Khurram Agha, led their respective delegations at Thursday’s meeting in the Afghan capital. 

A post-visit Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement said discussions focused on the March 26 “terrorist attack” against Chinese nationals. It added that the Pakistani side shared the findings of their investigation into the bombing with Taliban officials and “sought Afghanistan’s assistance in apprehending the perpetrators.” 

The Afghan side “agreed to examine the findings of the investigation and expressed the resolve to work with the Pakistan side to take the investigation to its logical conclusion,” the statement added. 

Officials privy to the talks told VOA that the Pakistani side highlighted the involvement of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, in the attack on Chinese workers and other acts of terrorism being committed against Pakistan.  

“Mr. Khurram Agha talked about the attack on the 26th of March this year … and hoped for the Afghan government’s help in the security sector,” Abdul Mateen Qani, Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman, said while sharing details of Thursday’s meeting between the two countries. 

He quoted Omari as describing the “terrorist attack” on Chinese nationals “as a tragic incident.” The minister stated, “Our intentions and actions are to promote peace in the region for the benefit of ourselves and everyone.” 

Omari renewed Afghanistan’s commitment “to not allowing others to use its territory against anyone, and we wish the same from others.”  

TTP, a globally designated terrorist organization, has for years waged deadly attacks in Pakistan, targeting security forces and civilians. 

Officials in Islamabad maintain that fugitive TTP leaders and combatants relocated to sanctuaries in Afghanistan after the Taliban retook control of the country nearly three years ago and have since intensified cross-border attacks with “greater operational freedom.” 

Taliban authorities reject the charges, saying neither TTP nor any other militant group is based on Afghan soil. 

“The two sides agreed to remain engaged to confront the threat posed by terrorism to regional countries and to address the concerns raised by Pakistan,” said the Pakistani statement Thursday. 

The Pakistani military said Thursday that a meeting of its leadership reviewed the security situation and the threat of terrorism emanating from Afghan soil. 

“The forum expressed serious concerns over continued cross-border violations from Afghanistan and terrorism being orchestrated using Afghan soil, noting that Pakistan’s adversaries were using Afghanistan to target security forces and innocent civilians inside Pakistan,” said a post-meeting military statement. 

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