Pakistani security forces conducted two separate operations Sunday in North and South Waziristan near the Afghan border.
While conducting the intelligence-based operations in Datakhel, North Waziristan and Zoida, South Waziristan, an intense exchange of fire erupted and four terrorist commanders of factions of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed, the Pakistan army said in a statement.
They included commanders Abdul Adam Zeb, alias Dung (TTP Bismillah group), Molvi Mehboob, alias Molvi (TTP Sajna group) and Mir Salam, alias Anas (TTP Sajna group), who were involved in more than 20 terrorist activities against security forces since 2014.
Molvi Mehboob and Mir Salam were close associates of Baitullah Mehsud and other TTP terrorist commanders. They were also involved in attacks on military convoys and on Ladha Fort in South Waziristan in 2007.
North Waziristan and South Waziristan, once dubbed as the heartland of militancy, are among two of seven former semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan where the army has conducted a series of operations since 2014 to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) March 7, 2021
Successive operations have pushed the group toward neighboring Afghanistan, and Islamabad claims the network has now set up bases across the border to attack Pakistani security forces and civilians.
Daesh/ISIS footprints in Afghanistan
The Pakistan army last month alleged that the terrorist organization Daesh/ISIS is using the Afghan territories to operate against Pakistan with India’s backing.
The terror group Daesh/ISIS is flourishing in neighboring Afghanistan with “Indian backing” due to the loose control of the Kabul government, Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar, the Pakistani army’s spokesman said, addressing a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
“Yes, there is Daesh footprint over there [Afghanistan] and it’s being supported by RAW [the Indian intelligence agency]. There is a lot of evidence available on that count but we are in contact with the Afghan government. We keep conveying our issues to them, concerns, we keep continuously keep engaging with them and it’s a very positive level of acceptability on both sides of what’s happening.
“But we also understand that there are some capacity issues on the Afghan side, so whenever their soil used against Pakistan we don’t always blame the Afghan government for that,” he noted.
His remarks echoed a similar charge leveled by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday accusing New Delhi of backing Daesh/ISIS to “inflame” sectarian violence in Pakistan.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk