Saturday Jun 16 2018

Ashraf Ghani calls PM Mulk, COAS to confirm killing of Mullah Fazlullah in drone strike


RAWALPINDI: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Friday called Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to share news of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Mullah Fazlullah’s killing in a drone strike in Kunar, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Mullah Fazlullah was named TTP chief after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike in November 2013.

The army’s media wing said that Fazlullah was hiding in the neighboring country since 2009, adding that the terrorist leader “masterminded scores of terrorist attacks against Pakistan including on APS.”

Afghan President in a tweet said that the prime minister and army chief congratulated him on the 'success of ceasefire' between government and Taliban. 

"The PM and COAS congratulated me on the success of the ceasefire and called it a great achievement that both sides observed the ceasefire with full compliance," he tweeted.

Ghani added that the Pakistani functionaries called the death of Fazlullah, 'a great step toward building trust between the two nations'.

"They also assured me that the death of Fazlullah is a great step toward building trust between the two nations and promised to support Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process," he added. 

Earlier, an Afghan Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province on June 13.

Mohammad Radmanish told CNN that Mullah Fazlullah, who led the TTP from 2013, was killed in the US strike on Wednesday (June 13).

The ISPR termed the killing of the TTP chief a "positive development."

"It gives relief to scores of Pakistani families who fell victim to TTP terror including the APS massacre," it said.

Who was Fazlullah?

Fazlullah was the region's most-wanted militant, notorious for attacks including a 2014 Peshawar school massacre that killed 132 children and the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In March, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information on Fazlullah.

Fazlullah emerged as the leader of the Taliban in the Swat Valley, northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, more than a decade ago. He was known as “Mullah Radio” for his fiery sermons broadcast over a radio channel.

He was reviled in Pakistan for the 2014 assault on Army Public School in the city of Peshawar in which TTP gunmen shot dead at least 132 children.

He is also believed to have ordered the 2012 shooting of then-15-year-old Malala Yousafzai over her advocacy of girls’ education.

Although Taliban extremists still unleash attacks, the group has lost control of all territory in Pakistan since its December 2014 attack on the army school.

The TTP has also threatened attacks against the US homeland and had claimed responsibility for a failed 2010 bomb attack in New York City’s Times Square.