FO confirms anti-terrorist operations inside Afghanistan

Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group responsible for carrying out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan was the target, says statement.

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday afternoon confirmed that Pakistan targetted terrorist groups hiding in the border regions in Afghanistan.

In a statement, FO said the target of today’s operation was terrorists belonging to Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group, which along with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, was responsible for terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

The latest attack was carried out by the terror groups on Saturday in North Wazirstan in which the lives of seven Pakistani soldiers, including two officers were lost.

“Over past two years, Pakistan has repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns to the Interim Afghan Government over the presence of terror outfits including TTP inside Afghanistan. These terrorists pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently used Afghan territory to launch terror attacks inside Pakistani territory.”

The statement added that Pakistan always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and prioritized dialogue and cooperation to confront the terrorist threat.

“Islamabad has 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 added that Pakistan had great respect for the people of Afghanistan. However, certain elements among those in power in Afghanistan are actively patronizing 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 said terrorist groups like TTP are a collective threat to regional peace and security. It said Pakistan fully realizes the challenge Afghan authorities face in combating the threat posed by 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.”

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