Islamabad -  Inter-Service Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Thursday that the drone strike on January 24 in Spintal, Hangu district was on an individual target morphed into Afghan refugees and not any organised terrorists’ sanctuary was eliminated.

In a statement, he said that the incident validates Pakistan’s stance that leftover terrorists easily morph into Afghan refugees’ camps/complexes. “Thus, early and dignified return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan is essential,” he said, adding that “Pakistan’s brotherly hospitality to peaceful Afghan refugees must not be exploited by the terrorists”.

The ISPR DG said that out of a total 54 Afghan refugee camps/complexes in Pakistan, 43 are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with an overlap in FATA (complexes in Hangu where the drone strike is shown on the map).

The DG has only recently categorically denied that there were any Haqqani network sanctuaries inside the country, he said. He reiterated that 43 percent of Afghanistan was not under the control of the Afghan government.

“Relations with the US have been on a nosedive since the announcement of the new South Asia and Afghanistan policy by US President Donald Trump.

Last month, in a report on Afghanistan, Pentagon had stated that a range of tools including “unilateral steps in areas of divergence” would be employed to induce “required change” in Pakistan’s stance.

The US also suspended security assistance for Pakistan as a follow-up to the US president’s New Year tweet accusing Islamabad of “lies and deceit”.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told journalists that Pakistan had all options including both diplomatic and military responses available for responding to any violation of its sovereignty. He had also underscored that there was no justification for any unilateral action.

US STRIKE ATTACK ON PAK SOVEREIGNTY: ASIF

INP adds: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has strongly condemned the US drone strike in Kurram Agency and termed it an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. In a statement issued from Davos, Switzerland, Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan has the capability to stop US drone strikes inside its territory.

Khawaja Asif said that our patience should not be tested and, added, that such strikes are detrimental to Pak-US relations.

Expressing his serious concerns over the said drone strike, Asif said such acts of sovereignty violations are detrimental to relations between both the countries.

Khawaja Asif further said that we are not living in Musharraf era now and Pakistan can take any step in the reaction to US strike.

TTP COMMANDER ARRESTED IN SWAT

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Thursday claimed to have arrested a terrorist commander of banned terrorist outfit during intelligence based operation in Swat area.

According to CTD, on tip off the security personnel raided a house located in Koshore area of Swat and arrested a terrorist commander named Muhammad Ali Shah. The arrested terrorist belonging to a banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan group was close associate of Maulvi Fazlullah.

The security personnel shifted the terrorist to undisclosed place for interrogation.

CTD official said that the arrested terrorist was involved in attack on security forces occurred on 2009 in which one personnel was killed and 52 others sustained injuries.

 

 

Our Staff Reporter