ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack, from Afghanistan, on Bajaur Scouts vehicle at Ghakki Pass in Bajaur Agency on Saturday.
An officer and two soldiers embraced martyrdom while another two soldiers were critically injured.
According to the statement released by the Foreign Office, strong protest has been lodged with the Afghan government and Afghan Consulate in Islamabad. It has been reiterated that Afghanistan should eliminate the terrorist sanctuaries and should not allow its territory to be used against Pakistan.
“At a time when a monumental effort is underway through operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ to eliminate all terrorists and their hideouts, Kabul’s cooperation remains essential for the success of our counter-terrorism endeavours,” it added.
The terrorist attacks from Afghanistan are not new phenomena. Earlier on July 3, there was a meeting of DG military operations in GHQ Rawalpindi primarily to discuss these border excesses as both sides were having serious complaints against each other about cross-border attacks.
Amid the blame game by Afghanistan and Pakistan over border skirmishes and territorial violations, Afghan security delegation and Pakistani military officials were agreed on June 3 to enhance coordination in future. The both sides had also agreed not to let their respective lands used for attack against each other.
Pak-Afghan Director General Military Operations (DGMO) level talks were ended on a positive note with a commitment and pledges from both sides to ensure that there should be no border violations.
There were repeated complaints from both sides that the cross border shelling primarily from the areas of Kunar and Nuristan linking with Pakistani side were the hot spot where the terrorists from both sides attacked the officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Earlier, it was agreed upon in the meeting that a joint delegation would visit Pak-Afghan border particularly those areas where these border violations were taking place repeatedly but ahead of the visit another attack from Afghanistan was resulted in the martyrdom of Pakistani officials.
Earlier on Saturday, militants killed a Pakistan army captain and two soldiers in a cross-border attack in Bajaur Agency.
A group of some 60 militants carried out the attack, entering from Afghanistan and firing on a vehicle carrying security forces in the Bajaur region, said Shah Nasim, a senior government administrator there. He initially said the militants had attacked an army post.
Another soldier and a civilian cook were injured in the attack, Nasim said, which ended with the assailants escaping to Afghanistan’s Kunar province, some of them injured from the exchange of fire.
The army largely has cleared the Bajaur region of militants but its posts often come under cross-border attacks. In June, militants killed 20 soldiers in three attacks. Pakistani troops killed some 50 attackers in retaliatory actions.
FORCES ELIMINATE 13 MORE IN NWA
On the 28th day of operation Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan armed forces killed at least 13 more militants and destroyed their seven hideouts during the airstrikes on Saturday.
Two suicide bombers also blew themselves up in Deegan area.
According to a statement issued by ISPR, the airstrikes were launched on Saturday morning after firing of rockets on a security forces’ checkpost in Mirali from inside town. The details could not be independently verified as access to media persons is restricted in the region.
Majority of the terrorists killed in strikes were foreigners while a huge cache of arms and ammunition had also been destroyed, the statement added.
Six motorcycle-borne-improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and two vehicle-borne-IEDs, two 12.7 mm guns, one 14.5 mm gun, three vehicles, 11 suicide jackets and huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered during the last 24 hours in area Khar Warsak and Zartangi.
Three terrorists including one Uzbek were apprehended from Boya area.
During the operation two suicide bombers were identified and chased who exploded themselves when encircled close to Boya. Two explosive laden vehicles were also destroyed through aviation strike at Degan.
Consolidation of cleared area in Miranshah and on Miranshah-Dattakhel Road was still underway.
Meanwhile, the relief operation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Bannu, DI Khan, Tank and Peshawar continued at full pace. So far 96,533 ration packs each of 110 Kilogram have been distributed among IDPs.
Moreover, 1,012 ton ration have been collected so far at 59 relief collection points established by Pakistan Army throughout the country, bulk of which have been transported to Bannu.
Army doctors, specially moved to reinforce local medical efforts at Bannu, are busy in providing relief to the patients. So far 12,587 patients have been treated at the field medical hospital established at Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital Bannu by army.
The operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched by the Pakistan Army on June 15 follownig a brazen Taliban-claimed attack on Karachi’s international airport and failure of peace talks between government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan negotiators.
At least 800,000 persons from North Waziristan tribal region have been displaced so far in the wake of the operation, according to figures released by the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA).