Taliban Pacts Said to Boost Afghan Violence NATO says recent agreements negotiated between the Pakistan government and Taliban fighters, who operate along the Afghan-Pakistan border — have led to increased violence within Afghanistan. The Afghan government is sending a delegation to Pakistan later this week to voice its concerns.
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Taliban Pacts Said to Boost Afghan Violence

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Taliban Pacts Said to Boost Afghan Violence

Taliban Pacts Said to Boost Afghan Violence

Taliban Pacts Said to Boost Afghan Violence

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NATO says recent agreements negotiated between the Pakistan government and Taliban fighters, who operate along the Afghan-Pakistan border — have led to increased violence within Afghanistan. The Afghan government is sending a delegation to Pakistan later this week to voice its concerns.

ROBERT SMITH, Host:

Tell us more about this spike in violence. What are the NATO commanders saying about it?

IVAN WATSON: And NATO says the only explanation for this jump in Taliban activity is the recent decrease of Pakistani army pressure on the militants on the other side of the border. They're saying that's allowing the insurgents to focus their attention on fighting the Western-backed government here in Afghanistan and the 70,000 foreign troops that are stationed here.

SMITH: What does the Taliban say about these claims?

WATSON: But he then went on to say that, quote, "Islam knows no borders and no frontiers; the jihad in Afghanistan will continue." And he vowed to send more fighters to kick the Americans out of Afghanistan the way the mujahedin forced the Soviet withdrawal from here in 1989.

SMITH: So how bad is the situation today in Afghanistan?

WATSON: The United Nations says some 8,000 people were killed in the fighting in Afghanistan in the last year alone.

SMITH: Well, as things get worse in Afghanistan, is the peace agreement holding on the Pakistan side of the border? Have we seen decreased violence on that side?

WATSON: We have seen sporadic bombs on that side. We have seen suicide bombs within just the last week. And some of these peace agreements have been broken in the past by this Taliban commander I mentioned - Baitullah Mehsud. So one U.S. commander tells me we're just going to have to wait and see what the details of these recent peace agreements between the Pakistani government and the Pakistani Taliban are going to be.

SMITH: NPR's Ivan Watson is in Kabul, Afghanistan. Thanks, Ivan.

WATSON: You're welcome, Robert.

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