The top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has said roughly 70 per cent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group loyalists fighting in Afghanistan are the members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Briefing the Washington-based journalists earlier this week, Gen. Nicholson, said “In the case of Islamic State Khorasan province, the majority of the members are from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”
Gen. Nicholson further added that many of these terrorists were forced out of Pakistan by the Zarb-i-Azb military operation.
He said many IS fighters in Nangarhar province came from Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal agency.
“And they were former members of the TTP, complete with their leadership, who wholesale joined Islamic State, pledged bayt (allegiance) to Islamic State and joined them earlier this year,” Gen. Nicholson added.
This comes as the local officials in Nanagarhar made a similar remark regarding the terror group’s loyalists in Afghanistan earlier last month.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani has said the documents obtained from the dead bodies and those arrested during the operations in Achin, Kot, Haska Mina and other parts of Nangarhar, reveal that they are originally residents of Orakzai Agency.
Khogyani further added that the intelligence information gathered by the government also reveal that the ISIS loyalists are mostly comprised of Pakistani nationals.
According to Khogyani, the residents of Tajikistan are also fighting alongside the Pakistani nationals for ISIS terrorist group who are mainly deployed after completing training in Pakistan.
The Afghan forces as well as the US forces in Afghanistan have increased raids against the loyalists of the terror group in Nangarhar during the recent months.
Both the Afghan and US forces conduct regular airstrikes to eliminate the supporters of the terror group amid fears they are attempting to expand foothold in the country. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES