Friday, July 14, 2023
The Pakistan Army has expressed serious concerns about safe havens and liberty of action available to the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Friday.
The military’s media wing statement came as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir visited Quetta Garrison, where he was briefed on the recent terrorist attack in Zhob in which nine soldiers embraced martyrdom.
“The COAS paid rich tribute to the Shuhada, visited the injured soldiers at CMH, Quetta, lauded their services to the nation and appreciated their resolve,” the statement added.
Earlier this week, nine soldiers were martyred as terrorists launched a "dastardly attack" on the Pakistan Army's Zhob Garrison in Northern Balochistan, the ISPR had said in a statement.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, a group of terrorists launched a dastardly attack on the garrison, the ISPR said, adding that the initial attempt to sneak into the facility was "checked by soldiers on duty".
Upon interception, a heavy exchange of fire took place between the terrorists and soldiers, with the militants being "contained into a small area at the boundary".
Later at night, the army's media wing announced that the clearance operation at the Zhob Cantt had been completed, adding that five terrorists have been killed during the operation.
Referring to the attack in the today's statement, the military’s information wing said it is expected that the interim Afghan government would not allow the use of its soil to perpetrate terror against any country, in the real sense and in line with commitments made in the Doha agreement.
“The involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan is another important concern that needs to be addressed,” the statement emphasised.
Such attacks are intolerable and would elicit an effective response from the security forces of Pakistan, it added.
The ISPR further said operations against terrorists would continue unabated and the armed forces “shall not rest till the menace of terrorism is rooted out from the country”.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist attacks following Afghan Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 and called upon the interim rulers to take decisive actions against terrorists including the TTP responsible for cross-border attacks.
Terror activities in the country have soared by 79% during the first half of 2023, a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) showed.
The report voiced alarm, stating that at least 271 militant attacks took place during the last six months, resulting in the loss of 389 lives and injuring 656 individuals.
The situation in the same timeframe last year was way better as compared to the current, as the first half of 2022 saw 151 attacks and 293 deaths, and 487 injuries.
These figures represent a staggering 79% increase in militant attacks during the first half of this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
Furthermore, the latter half of 2022 recorded 228 attacks, resulting in 246 fatalities and 349 injuries. Thus, the first six months of 2023 witnessed an 18% rise in attacks compared to the latter half of 2022, accompanied by a 58% increase in fatalities and an 88% increase in injuries.
Pakistani security forces have also stepped up their response against terrorism and killed at least 236 militants across the country while 295 suspected militants were also arrested during the first six months of 2023.