Pakistan’s prime minister on Tuesday asked neighboring Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to do more to prevent militants from crossing the border to stage attacks such as the massive suicide bombing earlier this week that killed dozens in a border region.
The appeal came days after the bomber struck an election campaign rally of supporters of a pro-Taliban cleric on Sunday, killing dozens and wounding scores in the district of Bajur. The death toll from the bombing rose to 55 on Tuesday, after a critically wounded person died in hospital in the northwestern city of Peshawar, hospital officials and the government said.
An Afghan-based branch of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Bajur attack. IS militants are Taliban rivals and have stepped up attacks since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the militants find sanctuaries inside Afghanistan, regroup and rearm there, and subsequently infiltrate Pakistan where they carry out anti-government attacks.
The Afghan Taliban government “should undertake concrete measures toward denying their soil be used for transnational terrorism,” he said while visiting some of the wounded in a Peshawar hospital.