Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Taliban’s appointed defense minister, during a press conference in the capital, Kabul, said dozens of Tajiks and more than 20 Pakistanis were killed in the past 12 months “in operations by security forces.”
He said scores of Tajiks and hundreds of Pakistanis involved in various incidents were also arrested during that period.
Tensions between Kabul and Islamabad spiked as hundreds of thousands of Afghans left Pakistan after authorities started pursuing foreigners they said were in the country illegally, going door-to-door to check migrants’ documentation, following an Oct.31 deadline.
Mujahid also said there has been a 90% decrease in attacks by an Islamic State group affiliate in the past year.
The militant group has carried out major assaults on schools, hospitals, and mosques, and has also attacked Shiite areas across the country.
The IS affiliate has been a major rival of the Taliban since the latter seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021. IS militants have struck in Kabul, in northern provinces and especially wherever there are Shiites, whom IS considers to be apostates.
Since taking power, the Taliban have barred women from most areas of public life and work and stopped girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade as part of harsh measures they imposed, as U.S. and NATO forces were pulling out of Afghanistan following two decades of war.