In an unusual move, Pakistan Army today handed over a list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists to Afghan embassy officials and demanded “immediate action” against them, amidst a spurt in terror attacks in the country. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also telephoned Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and urged him to take action against militants involved in terrorism inside Pakistan.
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Aziz called the Afghan National Security Adviser after an unnamed official from the Afghan embassy was summoned to military headquarters in Rawalpindi and handed down a list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists for “immediate action” or extradition to Pakistan.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement that Aziz underlined that the government and the people of Pakistan were in a state of deep anguish and pain at the recent terrorist incidents in various parts of Pakistan resulting into loss of precious human lives.
He conveyed to the Afghan National Security Adviser that terrorist group Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) was behind these barbaric acts of terrorism in Pakistan.
Director General, Inter-Services Public Relations, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the Afghan official was summoned to lodge protest against the use of Afghan soil by terrorists to carry out attacks in Pakistan, he said.
Afghanistan was asked to either take “immediate action” against the named terrorists or hand them over to Pakistan, he said.
The move comes two days after a senior Afghan diplomat was summoned to the Foreign Office in Islamabad to receive protest over the use of territory of his country for launching terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Dawn newspaper reported.
The Afghan diplomat was given a demarche containing details of the recent terrorist attacks and supporting information.
Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa yesterday vowed to avenge “every drop of blood” spilled by terrorists in Pakistan.
“Recent terrorist acts are being executed on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond,” he had said.
Pakistan has been hit by a series of terrorist attacks since Afghanistan-based JuA announced its ‘Operation Ghazi’.
The current wave of terrorism sweeping the country took a turn for the worse yesterday when a suspected woman suicide attacker set off explosives at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh province, leaving at least 80 devotees dead and over 200 injured.
Pakistan closed its border with Afghanistan after the shrine attack due to security concerns.
On February 13, a suicide bomber had struck a protest in Lahore, killing 13 and injuring 85. The attack had happened right outside the gates of Punjab’s Provincial Assembly. The attack was claimed by JuA.
On the same day, two personnel of Balochistan’s bomb disposal squad were killed as they attempted to defuse an explosive device planted under a bridge in Quetta, the provincial capital.