A Western official in Kabul was quoted as saying by The Christian Science Monitor that the recent attacks were widely assumed to be Pakistan’s response to the United States for suspending military aid and that it was Pakistan’s way of “giving a small taste of what it’s capable of.”
The official, however, warned that continued pressure on Pakistan is likely to produce an even more violent reaction, “Pakistan has a wide menu of options still available to it. and if we continue down this path [of pressure] – and I think we will continue down this path – it’s going to continue getting worse.”
The military-grade explosives that are not widely available were used in two of the most recent attacks, the official observed.
“We’re not talking about fertilizer bombs. We’re talking about plastic stuff, Semtex, whatever, that you just can’t buy in a grocery store,” he said, and added, “These are the same sources – almost certainly Pakistani intelligence – picking and choosing a few different cells that they’ve been cultivating for years, sometimes branded with the Taliban flag, sometimes branded with the [ISIS] flag.”
The official observed that flow of such explosives has increased across the border over the past year and that “a lot of circumstantial evidence” link its source to Pakistan’s military.
In a tweet on January 1, US President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of giving safe haven to terrorists that carry out attacks in Afghanistan.
Following this, Washington suspended around two billion USD to the country until it took “decisive action” against the Taliban and Haqqani network.
Pakistan has categorically denied Trump’s allegation.