DERA ISMAIL KHAN: An army major was martyred in an exchange of fire with militants affiliated with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during a search operation in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
According to a police official, the army conducted a search operation along with the police on Mosazai street of Kulachi tehsil on intelligence about the presence of terrorists in the area. A wanted militant, identified as Zahir Shah, was also reportedly present there.
The encounter took place near Zahir Shah’s house, he said. Terrorists opened fire and lobbed a hand-grenade at the security personnel which resulted in the martyrdom of Maj Ishaq, the official said, adding that the militants ran away after firing.
The search operation, he said, was launched at around 12.30am on Wednesday.
ISPR says military has a sacred duty of defending motherland and it shall do it
Zahir Shah was on the wanted list in numerous cases, including attacks on security personnel.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Major Gen Asif Ghafoor confirmed the incident in a tweet: “Another son of soil Maj Ishaq embraces shahadat. We have a sacred duty at hand of cleansing and defending our motherland; we shall do it.”
The ISPR director general, in his statement posted on Twitter, said Major Ishaq lost his life while security forces were “conducting a search operation on reports about presence of terrorists in a hideout” in Dera Ismail Khan’s Kulachi area.
It was unclear whether there were any militant casualties.
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and other army officials attended the funeral prayers for the major who leaves his wife and a one-year-old son. He belonged to Khushab district of Punjab.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) registered an FIR against the terrorists.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in a statement expressed sorrow and said that war against terrorism would continue till the elimination of the last terrorist.
Security forces have been conducting combat and search operations against the TTP and its affiliates in Kulachi since 2010.
The area, adjacent to South Waziristan and Tank district, has a history of terrorist attacks in which several personnel of law enforcement agencies and political figures, including former law minister Israrullah Gandapur, lost their lives.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2017