May 6, 2021, 02.03 AM

“More authoritarian countries do not need the proof; countries that are more transparent will need it to prosecute [these individuals],” he said.

He added that China has interest in taking back its citizens back because it has “inflated the threat of terrorism to justify their treatment of Uyghurs.”

Reuters reported in 2015 that the Afghan government arrested and handed over a number of Uyghur militants to China as a way to persuade China to help with convincing Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Formidable threat

Taqat said the Afghan government’s announcement shows that foreign fighters still have bases in the country and that their presence would remain a "formidable threat" after foreign troops leave.

The fighters “will pose a greater threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal,” said Taqat.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have announced that they will pull out all their forces from Afghanistan by September 11.

Also read: Breaking News: Explosion Rocks Makassar Cathedral in Indonesia's South Sulawesi

The Islamic State branch, ISKP, was formed in January 2015 in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan and in northern Pakistan. The group has suffered major setbacks in recent years, including the loss of its key pockets of territory and the removal of its top leadership.

Despite the losses, a U.N. report in May 2020 said that ISKP still has about 2,200 armed fighters in the South Asian country and remains capable of launching different attacks.

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