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Terrorists regrouping in Afghan safe havens: Bajwa

February 17, 2017

PESHAWAR: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that terrorists are trying to regroup in safe havens in Afghanistan.

Gen Bajwa, who visited Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies on Thursday, said that terrorists were trying to spread doubt and despondency in society, but the masses could collectively foil their desperate manoeuvres, according to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The army chief visited Ghalanai, the administrative headquarters of Mohmand Agency, where two suicide bombers tried to enter the political administration compound on Wednesday. Five security personnel were killed in the attack. The ISPR said that Gen Bajwa met troops and interacted with tribal elders. He also met relatives of the deceased personnel and offered condolences to them.

“Hostile agencies should avoid playing with regional peace and stability as we reserve the right to respond despite our current policy of restraint,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.

He praised personnel of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) deployed in Mohmand, particularly Levies Force, for thwarting the suicide attack in Ghalanai, minimising the loss of lives.

He also praised troops for effectively responding to a cross- border attack from Afghanistan on a Pakistani check-post last week.

Gen Bajwa said that cooperation among people, the army, LEAs and intelligence agencies was the cornerstone of success against terrorism. Efforts to ensure that Pakistani soil was not used against any other country would continue, he said and added that he expected other countries to reciprocate in the same way.

He assured local tribes that the army would continue its efforts to improve infrastructure in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, including roads, health and educational facilities and community development projects.

The army fully supported initiatives for mainstreaming Fata being undertaken in accordance with the wishes of the people, he said.

Commander of Peshawar Corps Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt and other senior officials of the army and the Frontier Corps were present at the occasion.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017