Pakistan hits TTP hideouts inside Afghanistan as terror threat looms large


ISLAMABAD: Pakistani forces carried out intelligence-based operations (IBOs) across the border into Afghanistan against terrorists launching attacks into Pakistan from Afghan soil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) confirmed on Monday.

The target of Monday’s operation was the terrorists belonging to Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group, which along with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is responsible for the March 16 attack in Mir Ali, North Waziristan and multiple other terrorist attacks in the country, resulting in deaths of hundreds of civilians and law enforcement officials.

On Saturday, at least seven Pakistan Army soldiers — including a lieutenant colonel and captain — embraced martyrdom after gallantly fighting with terrorists as they attacked a security forces’ post in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The Foreign Office (FO) issued a detailed statement on the matter, saying that Pakistan, for the past two years, has repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns to the interim Afghan Government over the presence of terror outfits including TTP inside Afghanistan.

It said that these terrorists pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently used Afghan territory to launch terror attacks inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan accords prime importance to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. It has, therefore, always prioritised dialogue and cooperation to confront the terrorist threat.

“We have repeatedly urged the Afghan authorities to take concrete and effective action to ensure that the Afghan soil is not used as a staging ground for terrorism against Pakistan. We have also called on them to deny safe havens to TTP and to hand over its leadership to Pakistan,” the FO said.

The statement added that Pakistan has great respect for the people of Afghanistan; however, certain elements among those in power in Afghanistan are actively patronising TTP and using them as a proxy against Pakistan.

“Such an approach against a brotherly country, which stood with the people of Afghanistan through thick and thin, manifests shortsightedness. It ignores the support extended by Pakistan to the people of Afghanistan over the last several decades”.

“We urge these elements in power to rethink the policy of siding with Khwarij terrorists shedding the blood of innocent Pakistanis and to make a clear choice to stand with the people of Pakistan,” it added.

The FO further stated that terrorist groups like TTP are a collective threat to regional peace and security.

“We fully realise the challenge Afghan authorities face in combating the threat posed by the TTP. Pakistan would therefore continue to work towards finding joint solutions in countering terrorism and to prevent any terrorist organization from sabotaging bilateral relations with Afghanistan,” the statement concluded.

Completely eradicating menace of terrorism remains top priority: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif on Monday visited the residence of Captain Ahmed Badr Shaheed who embraced martyrdom while gallantly fighting the terrorists in district North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The prime minister while expressing his sympathies with the bereaved family said that he was very impressed by their patience and determination. He said the whole nation was proud of the sacrifice, Captain Ahmed has rendered for the cause of the country.

Interacting with the local elders on the occasion, Premier Shehbaz Sharif said these martyrs were the pride of the nation and the entire nation was indebted to their sacrifices.

He reaffirmed the national resolve to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country and said the sacrifices of our martyrs will not go in vain.

The prime minister especially acknowledged with pride, the courage and patience of Shaheed Captain Ahmed’s parents.

He announced to establish a school in the area which will be named after the Shaheed Captain as per the desire of his father.

Earlier, the prime minister also visited the residence of Lt. Colonel Syed Kashif Ali Shaheed in Rawalpindi and offered his heartfelt condolence to the family.

He prayed to Allah Almighty to grant eternal peace to the martyrs and patience to the bereaved families to bear the loss with courage. He said the brave jawans and officers of Pakistan Army had sacrificed their lives to safeguard their motherland.

PM Shehbaz further said that the entire nation including himself pay tributes to them. “The families of martyrs are a matter of pride for the entire nation”, he remarked.

The prime minister said the entire nation stood shoulder to shoulder with its armed forces till complete eradication of the menace of terrorism.

Terrorism looms large as TTP using Afghan soil to hit Pakistan

As the country witnesses another wave of terrorist activities, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has said that the continuous use of Afghan soil is behind the “growing terrorism in Pakistan”.

A statement issued by the military’s media wing on Monday said that Pakistan’s security forces have been engaged in the war against terrorism for the past two decades.

“It is clear to all that the recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan has full support and assistance of Afghanistan,” it added.

The communique further stated that the rise in terror attacks in Pakistan is a result of supply of modern weapons into the country “with the help of Afghan Taliban”.

The ISPR said that there is clear evidence of Afghan terrorists’ involvement in attack on Zhob Garrison on July 12, 2023, in which nine soldiers embraced martyrdom and five terrorists were killed.

Clear evidence of terrorists coming from Afghanistan, the military’s media wing said, is the reason behind growing incidents of terrorism.

A day after the attack, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had said militants were using Afghanistan soil to carry out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

“Terrorism against us is mostly being conducted from Afghanistan,” the defence minister had said while speaking to the media in Sialkot.__Pakistan Today