ISLAMABAD - Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai yesterday said that militants fleeing tribal areas to avoid the ongoing military operation Zerb-i-Azb are joining Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan.

Addressing a seminar here yesterday, the Afghan Ambassador said that militants in Mohmand and Orakzai agencies are fleeing to Afghanistan in great number and most of them are joining the IS Group taking roots in the already war-ravaged country.

“About 60 to 70 per cent militants fleeing Pakistan during offensives in Mohmand and Orakzai had joined IS in Afghanistan,” he claimed.

Terming terrorism a common problem confronting the two neighbouring countries, the Afghan envoy said that Kabul was committed not to let anyone use its territory for committing terrorism in any neighbouring country including Pakistan.

He said: “we want good neighbourly relations with Islamabad as it is important for the economic prosperity of Afghanistan.” He further said that Kabul was committed to a policy of non-interference in any neighbouring country.

Acknowledging the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mosazai said that they also wanted to take full benefit of it as the economic wellbeing of Pakistan would have direct impact on the economy of Afghanistan.

Reports in the past suggested that militants fleeing operation Zerb-i-Azb were joining IS in Afghanistan and Afghan Foreign Minister during his visit to Islamabad to attend Heart of Asia Conference had also pointed out this issue and it was agreed between the two countries to enhance the surveillance on Pak-Afghan borders stretching up several hundred kilometres to check the movement of militants across the border.

Security officials have warned against IS gaining a foothold in Afghanistan’s eastern region, where the group reportedly murdered tribal elders, clashed with the rival Taliban, imprisoned families and enforced strict rules on women.

Afghanistan does not provide a natural constituency from which IS can recruit, meaning the group relies heavily on defections from existing insurgent outfits.