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Pakistan, Afghanistan will fight terrorism 'together': army chief

Updated Jun 21, 2017 03:56pm

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Monday that Pakistan and Afghanistan will fight their "common enemy" of terrorism together, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Chairing a high-level security meeting at the General Headquarters (GHQ), he said enhanced security measures taken along the Pak-Afghan border are to fight the common enemy, which include "terrorists of all hues and colour".

The army chief issued directions for more effective coordination between Pakistani and Afghan officials to curb cross-border movement of terrorists.

Gen Bajwa "also welcomed proposals from Afghan authorities to take forward the mutual coordination for result oriented efforts against terrorism".

Following a spate of terror attacks in which more than 100 people have been killed, Pakistan had sealed its border with Afghanistan. Authorities later issued shoot-at-sight orders for those found trying to cross over.

The Pakistan Army on Friday night said it targeted militant hideouts close to the Pak-Afghan border. The army reportedly targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar — the banned terror outfit which claimed responsibility for the Feb 13 suicide bombing in Lahore and the Feb 15 suicide attack on the headquarters of Mohmand Agency's political administration.

Earlier that day, the army had asked Kabul to take action against 76 Pakistani terrorists operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan so that they could be tried for their involvement in terror-related activities.

After the Lahore attack, the Foreign Office had summoned the Afghan deputy head of mission and asked Kabul to address Pakistan’s concerns about terrorist sanctuaries there.

Resurgence in terror attacks

Pakistan has been hit by a series of terrorist attacks since Jamaat-ul-Ahrar announced its ‘Operation Ghazi’. The Afghanistan-based JuA had, in the announcement, also hinted at unification of Tehreek-i-Talbian Pakistan (TTP) splinter groups.

It should be recalled that TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah is based in Afghanistan and Pakistani pleadings for his arrest and handover have remained unanswered.

A wave of terrorism swept the country last week, hitting a high on Thursday when a suicide attacker set off explosives at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, leaving at least 76 devotees dead and over 250 injured.

Earlier on the same day, an explosive device had targeted an army convoy in the Awaran area of Balochistan, killing three soldiers.

On Feb 15, a suicide bomber had struck in Mohmand, killing three personnel of the Khasadar force and five civilians. The attack was claimed by the proscribed JuA.

The same day, a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle carrying judges in Peshawar's Hayatabad Phase 5 area, killing the driver and injuring its four other occupants. The attack was claimed by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

On Feb 13, a suicide bomber had struck a protest on Lahore's Charing Cross interchange, killing 13 and injuring 85. The attack had happened right outside the gates of Punjab's Provincial Assembly. The attack was claimed by JuA.

On the same day, two personnel of Balochistan's bomb disposal squad were killed as they attempted to defuse an explosive device pla