US Special Representative for Afghanistan to travel to India this week

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Washington: US State Department Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, will travel to India and the UAE this week. His visit aims to meet US partner countries’ officials on collaboration in support of the Afghan people.

“I will travel to India and UAE this week to meet with partners on our collaboration in support of the Afghan people,” said West in a post on X. Notably, the announcement of his visit comes a day after Pakistan carried out airstrikes in Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of eight people, including children and women.

According to local sources, the clashes began at 7 am (local time) on Monday. Residents of Dand Patan had evacuated their homes after the rocket fire from Pakistan. The clashes erupted between the armed forces of the Taliban and Pakistan after Pakistani air forces conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces.
Taliban asserted that such airstrikes are a clear violation of Afghanistan’s territory, Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that Islamabad carried out “intelligence-based anti-terrorist operations” inside the border regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan-based Dawn reported. According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office press release, the prime targets of the operation carried out on Monday were terrorists belonging to the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group.
It said that Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group along with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, resulting in “deaths of hundreds of civilians and law enforcement officials”, according to Dawn report.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that the latest attack of such an instance took place at a security post in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali on Saturday, which claimed the lives of seven Pakistani soldiers. In response to Pakistan’s airstrikes in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s forces have targeted Pakistan’s military posts along the Durand Line with heavy weapons, the Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported, citing the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence.

In a press release, the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence stated, “In response to this aggression, the border forces of Taliban targeted Pakistani military centres along the fabricated border line with heavy weapons.” It further said that Afghanistan’s “defence and security forces are ready to respond to any aggressive actions and will defend their territorial integrity under all circumstances.”Armed clashes had erupted between Taliban forces and Pakistani border guards along the Durand Line, Khaama Press reported citing sources.

According to the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence, Pakistani fighter jets “once again entered Afghan territory in a provocative action… and bombed civilian homes in Bermel district of Paktika province and Sepera district of Khost province,” Khaama Press reported.

Earlier today, during a White House briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre urged the Taliban to ensure that terror attacks are not launched from Afghan soil. While addressing a press briefing on Monday (local time), Karine Jean-Pierre said that the US remains committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who wish to harm the United States and its partners and allies.

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