LAHORE - The killing of the key culprit of Army Public School, Khalifa Umar Mansoor alias Umar Naray, in a drone strike at Pak-Afghan border is in the process of confirmation, but what has been confirmed is that a premier security agency of the country shared information with western intelligence services for the second time to hunt down the “butcher of APS”, security officials told The Nation yesterday.

Although Kabul’s top security service, NDS, has refused to enter into an agreement with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to neutralise Pakistan’s most wanted targets of outlawed TTP operating from the Afghan soil, the agency is continuing its efforts to hunt down the terrorists like Mullah Fazlullah, Umar Naray, Umar Khalid Khorasani and others, through its network of informants close to terror nests to get information on their possible movements, they added.

The actionable information the agency is getting from its informant’s network is sharing with western intelligence services from time to time to determine whether the secret services make any bid to hunt Islamabad’s enemies on Afghan soil or not. The results of sharing of the information have not so far proved fruitful, security officials said while unveiling some more details on this count.

Umar Naray had reportedly been killed with his more than three accomplices in a US drone strike in the mountainous range of Acheena Bandar falling in Nazyan district of Nangarhar province of Afghanistan bordering with Pakistan.

More than one missile drone strike hit two-vehicle motorcade of Umar Naray when he was travelling to some place in the region for meeting other members of his terror network. However, it has yet to be confirmed whether the drone strike had killed the butcher of APS or not, said the security officials.

Confirming the killing of a key terrorist like Umar Naray is a difficult task in an area which is accessible to some Afghan and Indian intelligence operatives that are aiding and abetting the operations of such criminals on Pakistani soil, they added.

“Though we have a network of human intelligence, but sometimes it is difficult for them to get access to the inner circle of terror outfits,” the security officials told the paper while informing about the confirmation process of a possible killing of the terrorist.

The premier state security agency has ‘infiltrators’ in outlawed TTP groups at the highest level and in some cases mid-ranked or low-level ones. The situation keeps on changing with the changing strength patterns of the terror outfits.

The indications after the drone strike hint at the likelihood of killing of Umar Naray in the hit, but the messages pouring in from our informants’ network cannot be shared for operational matters in this line of business, they said.

“Proof of life is the name of the game in this business of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Umar Naray must give a solid proof that he is alive. Terror gang bosses usually give proof of life through video or audio messages. The security agencies conduct voice/video sampling and analysis tests through their experts to ascertain the man in the audio or video and to accept or reject his proof of life,” the security officials explained while informing the paper about an important procedure to verify the death of a terrorist.

It is highly important for any terror outfit to give proof of life of their chief to sustain their nuisance value. But the groups sometimes hide the death news till the selection of a new boss, they added.

This is the second attempt of the premier security agency of the country to hunt the mastermind of Army Public School through sharing information with western intelligence services on the movement of Umar Naray in the bordering areas of Afghanistan with Pakistan.

The first intelligence information was shared with western secret services by the premier secret agency of the country in the second week of February this year about the key culprit of APS.

Umar Naray was injured while his son Hameed seriously injured in a US drone strike. Later, Hameed reportedly succumbed to his injuries.

Umar Naray, the head of TTP Geedar Group, is considered the deadliest among the lot of Pakistani Taliban operating from Afghan soil. He masterminded three gruesome incidents, Army Public School, Bacha Khan University and Badaber Airbase attacks.