Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and other foreign militant groups were involved in the Kunduz attack after Pakistan launched a military operation to oust them from the tribal areas of northern Waziristan, said Afghan acting defense minister Masoom Stanekzai on Monday.
Pakistan launched a large-scale joint operation called “Zarb-e-Azb” in mid June 2014 which Pakistani officials said was aimed at eliminating militant groups from northern Waziristan, which is along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The operation however evoked widespread criticism from Afghanistan after hundreds of militants reportedly fled to Afghanistan.
Stanekzai told a media briefing Monday that foreign militants, including those who fled Waziristan were behind the Kunduz attack, which led to the northern city’s collapse to the Taliban two weeks ago.
Pakistan should have launched the operation years ago, when foreign troops were still in Afghanistan, said Stanekzai.
Furthermore, Stanekzai linked the increasing insecurity in the country to the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan – a plan which is being revised by the United States.
Expressing his sympathy to the people of Kunduz, most of whom were left homeless, Stanekzai said it was the support of the people that helped drive insurgents out of the city. However the battle is still ongoing in parts of the city.
He noted a large-scale operation was being conducted in Kunduz and that insurgents have been pushed back and the situation is slowly improving.
In addition, he urged the nation to stand by the security forces and Jihadi leaders – who have recently held meetings over the country’s security situation.
This comes after some Afghan officials accused Pakistan’s military of discrimination in their Waziristan operation. According to the officials, Pakistan military did not target Haqqani bases – which is accused of being behind many complex attacks in Afghanistan.