A top Pakistani diplomat has warned that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could emerge as an umbrella organization for the terrorist groups in Afghanistan once Da’esh is eliminated, posing a threat to regional and international peace and security. “Unless the TTP, and other terrorist groups, are contained and neutralized, they will continue to pose an ever-present threat to Afghanistan’s neighbours and possibly the international community,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the UN Security Council on Tuesday. He told the 15-member Council that TTP is responsible for a series of cross-border terrorist attacks on Pakistani military posts, as well as on civilian targets within Pakistan. “Unless the TTP is actively contained, it could emerge as an umbrella organization for the various terrorist groups and factions in Afghanistan once Daesh is eliminated,” the Pakistani envoy said in a debate on the situation in Afghanistan. “This concern is heightened by the support and sponsorship the TTP has received from some well-known ‘spoilers’ in our region,” he said in a veiled reference to India. Noting that the presence of terrorist groups remains the major security threat within and from Afghanistan, Ambassador Akram spoke about “some success” in the Taliban fight against ISIL-K/Da’esh terrorists, reaffirming Pakistan’s support and cooperation to neutralize them. For Pakistan, he added, the immediate and major threat is posed by TTP, having lost hundreds of its brave soldiers and civilians. “The border attacks have become more lethal due to the acquisition and use of advanced military equipment by the TTP terrorists, apparently from the stocks left behind by foreign forces,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that the majority of the suicide bombers in attacks claimed by the TTP within Pakistan have turned out to be Afghans. Pakistan’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan Asif Durrani has received Taliban’s assurances about action taken against the TTP elements involved in those attacks and to prevent its terrorism, Ambassador Akram said. “Pakistan would welcome these steps once credibly implemented.” In his remarks, he also said that Pakistan was encouraged by some positive developments in Afghanistan; while remaining concerned by some other issues. Pointing out that the the Taliban government was stable, Ambassador Akram noted that the law-and-order situation in Afghanistan had improved; action taken against Da’esh; corruption declined; economy managed, despite the external and internal constraints, and the increasing trade between Afghanistan and its neighbours. However, he said, the humanitarian situation remains dire, with more than two-thirds of Afghan people rendered destitute and requiring immediate humanitarian assistance. At the same time, the Pakistani envoy said the restrictions on women and girls remain in force, although some space has been created through pragmatic avenues. “Pakistan will continue to make every effort to find a durable solution, through consultations, on this important issue.” The Afghan economy remains troubled, he said. “The massive smuggling of dollars from Pakistan to Afghanistan has had a devastating impact on Pakistan’s economy and currency,” Ambassador Akram said, adding that Islamabad’s crackdown on the illegal money smuggling, has stabilized and strengthened the market. The Afghan banking system must be revived, he said, while underscoring that Afghanistan’s national assets held abroad should be released and returned and financial support for development projects restored. “We also look forward to early implementation of the shovel-ready regional connectivity projects between Pakistan-Afghanistan-Central Asia as well as Pakistan-China and Afghanistan.” Meanwhile, reaffirming its commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free-world, Pakistan told the U.N. that India was responsible for introducing nuclear weapons in South Asia with a test of an atomic device in 1974, forcing Pakistan to follow suit. “In South Asia, nuclear weapons capability was introduced by one state in 1974,” Ambassador Munir Akram said, without naming India. “That state also initiated the South Asia nuclear weapons explosions in 1998,” he said, adding, “Pakistan was compelled to follow suit in order to restore strategic stability and deter the aggression against it.” Following the South Asia nuclear tests, Ambassador Akram said that Pakistan proposed the establishment of a Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) in South Asia, to be premised on three interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements of conflict resolution, nuclear and missile restraint and conventional arms balance. The Pakistani envoy, who was speaking at an event to commemorate the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world that is achieved in a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory manner, assuring undiminished security for all States at the lowest possible level of armaments. “The proposal remains on the table,” Ambassador Akram said, adding that Pakistan’s security policy continues to be defined by restraint and responsibility and avoidance of a mutually debilitating arms race in the region. Pakistan, he said, strongly supports all international efforts seeking to promote fair and equitable solutions to disarmament and non-proliferation challenges.