Confirming the involvement of Afghan citizens in the recent terrorist attack in Balochistan’s Zhob, the Foreign Office on Wednesday vehemently expressed its serious reservations and condemnation regarding the usage of Afghan soil against Pakistan. At least 12 security personnel were martyred by terrorists in an early morning attack on the Zhob Garrison and another attack in the Sui district on July 12, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said. The media wing of the military said that nine troops embraced martyrdom, as they thwarted a terrorist attack on the Zhob Garrison. Later, three more soldiers laid down their lives in another attack in Sui district. According to FO spokesperson, the three identified terrorists belonged to the Afghan city of Kandahar. The FO has also issued directives to the Afghan embassy in Islamabad to receive the bodies of the terrorists involved in the attack. The Foreign Office also expressed serious reservation and condemnation over the “continuous involvement” of terrorists from Afghanistan inside Pakistan. Pakistan has stepped up pressure on the Afghan interim government to tackle the TTP threat, as the country’s defence minister and the army chief issued stern warnings to Kabul. There has been a surge in terrorist attacks in Pakistan. A series of attacks in Balochistan prompted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir to remind the Afghan Taliban of the promises they made to the international community not to allow their soil to be used against other countries. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif went a step further and accused Afghanistan of not fulfilling the duties of a responsible neighbour. He lamented that while Pakistan hosted millions of Afghanistan refugees for decades, the Afghan Taliban were providing refuge to people who were spilling the blood in Pakistan. After strong criticism, the Afghan Taliban rejected Pakistani claims and said the TTP was not operating out of the Afghan soil. The corps commanders, however, rejected the Afghan claims and said TTP not only had sanctuaries across the border but also access to the latest weapons. The TTP has emerged as a major stumbling block between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. Contrary to Pakistan’s expectations, the Afghan Taliban are reluctant to go after the TTP. Since the change of army leadership, Pakistan has been pursuing a more aggressive stance. The United States has also backed Pakistan’s call for action against the terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan. The State Department spokesperson said it was the responsibility of the Afghan Taliban not to allow their soil to be used against other countries. Meanwhile, the death toll from a suicide blast that targeted a political gathering in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Bajaur district has risen to 63, the district headquarters hospital said on Wednesday. According to MS District Headquarters Hospital Khar’s Dr Liaqat Ali, 43 bodies were brought to the hospital after the blast. He said that so far a total of 63 people have died in the Bajaur blast. He added that one seriously injured died at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Peshawar, four died at CMH Peshawar and two at Timergara Hospital. Dr Ali also said that 13 bodies have been handed over to the relatives. The hospital administration added that 123 people were injured in the suicide blast and that they are undergoing treatment in different hospitals in the province. The blast occurred in Khar tehsil of the district, a town bordering Afghanistan. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) workers along with the local leader were present at the convention when the suicide blast ripped through it. The Islamic State-Khorasan claimed the deadly suicide bombing.