Pakistan moves heavy artillery towards Afghan border


Islamabad: Amid reports that Pakistan has moved heavy artillery towards the Afghan border, army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa today said “enhanced security arrangements” in the border region were aimed at combating terrorism.

Photo: Dawn

After a string of terror attacks in the country, Pakistan Army has moved heavy artillery towards the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman and Torkham districts, the Express Tribune reported, citing security officials.

The move came just two days after the military targeted the camps of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Jamaatul Ahrar (JA) faction on the Torkham border opposite Mohmand and Khyber tribal regions.

Pakistan alleges that the group, which claims to be behind the recent wave of terrorist attacks, has found “safe haven” in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Bajwa said security measures along the border with Afghanistan were part of efforts to defeat terrorism which is a common threat to both countries.

Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a statement that General Bajwa chaired a high level security meeting at army’s headquarter in Rawalpindi.

Ghafoor quoted the army chief as saying that “enhanced security arrangements” along border are to “fight (the) common enemy i.e. terrorists of all hue and colour”.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan have fought against terrorism and shall continue this effort together,” Bajwa said.

He also called for more effective border coordination and cooperation with Afghan security forces to prevent cross border movement of terrorists, including all types of illegal movement.

Bajwa welcomed recent proposals from Afghan authorities to take forward the mutual coordination for result oriented efforts against terrorism.

Pakistan has increased security at the Afghan border to stop all illegal movements after a wave of deadly attacks last week.

More than 130 suspected terrorists have been killed and over 350 people, mostly Afghans, arrested in Pakistan as part of a nationwide crackdown by security forces following a string of suicide bombings in the country.

Senior police officers were among 13 people killed when a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up during a protest rally outside Pakistan’s Punjab assembly in Lahore last Monday.

On Wednesday, at least seven people were killed and several others, including judges, injured in two separate suicide attacks in Pakistan’s restive northwest region.

One of the deadliest suicide bombing in Pakistan in recent times struck Thursday night at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan area of southern Sindh province where at least 88 people were killed and over 200 injured in an attack claimed by the ISIS.



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