Afghan nationals’ involvement in terror incidents in Pakistan detrimental to regional peace: COAS Munir
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir on Monday said the “involvement of Afghan nationals” in terrorism incidents in Pakistan was “detrimental to regional peace [and] stability”.
The army chief’s remarks came days after the Foreign Office confirmed the involvement of Afghan terrorists in the last month’s Zhob cantonment attack.
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) today said that Gen Munir addressed the incident during a visit to the Martyrs’ Memorial at Bala Hisar Fort in Peshawar, where he met tribal elders from Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as notables from all walks of life.
“The involvement of Afghan nationals in terrorist incidents in Pakistan is detrimental to regional peace, stability and deviation from the Doha Peace Agreement by the interim Afghan government,” he is quoted as saying.
The agreement was signed in Qatar between the US and Afghan Taliban in February 2020 to bring an end to the 2001–2021 war in Afghanistan. The agreement ultimately led to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan on Aug 15, 2021 following two decades of occupation.
The army chief paid rich tribute to the sacrifices of the “brave and resilient tribals of Pakistan” and laid a floral wreath. He also appreciated their “indomitable resolve for standing shoulder to shoulder with the security forces in defeating [the] menace of terrorism”.
Expressing concerns over the “sanctuaries available to banned outfits and [the] liberty of action they enjoy on Afghan soil”, Gen Munir vowed, “Pakistan will spare no effort to dismantle terrorist networks and protect its citizens at all costs.”
The ISPR statement further quoted the COAS as saying: “With the unflinching resolve of the nation, Pakistan is successfully countering terrorism to enable a stable and peaceful environment for socioeconomic development in the area”.
It added that tribal elders assured the armed forces that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its ideology will “never be acceptable to any tribe and they will continue to stand with the state during the thick and thin”.
COAS emphasised the potential of Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) and on going efforts in uplifting the socio-economic growth under the umbrella of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
The army chief also said that “KPK province is blessed with huge reserves of Mines & Minerals, also beautiful areas for tourism which will certainly change the destiny of the area for the good of the people.”
“Pak Army stands with our tribal brothers and will never leave them alone as over the years they have given innumerable sacrifices for the peace and prosperity of the motherland. It’s time to develop all tribal areas and concentrate on youth” the COAS remarked.
The COAS reiterated the resolve of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and other Law Enforcement Agencies in their fight against terrorism, till elimination of this menace from the country.
“The surge in terrorism in recent past is a futile effort on the part of terrorists to get the talks re-initiated, however, there is no option for these terrorists except to submit to the writ of state of Pakistan before they are decimated, if they persist on their wrong path,” he said.
Gen Munir reiterated that “propaganda by inimical forces” against the armed forces of Pakistan, will be dealt as per the Law.
Paying tribute to brave tribesmen, officers & soldiers of Pak Army, FC, Levies, Khasadars and Police, COAS vowed that sacrifices of Shuhada will not go in vain and complete peace will return to Pakistan, InshaAllah.
The army chief’s remarks also comes a day after Afghanistan’s supreme leader warned Taliban members against carrying out attacks abroad, according to Afghan Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid.
Pakistan has repeatedly raised concerns over the use of Afghan soil by militants for cross-border terrorism.
The country has seen an uptick in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the outlawed TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.
Recently, an attack on a military installation in Balochistan’s Zhob Cantt, and another attack on security forces in Balochistan’s Sui resulted in the deaths of 12 soldiers. This marks the military’s highest single-day death toll from terrorist attacks reported this year.