Pakistan Taliban commander killed in United States drone strike

Image used for representational purpose

Image used for representational purpose

Two separate United States drone strikes struck a militant compound in a northwestern tribal region of Pakistan and a vehicle in Afghanistan, killing 11 militants, mostly from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, officials said Friday.

Pakistan has also denied repeated allegations by the United States that Pakistan is providing safe havens to terrorists who use the country's land to launch cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

Asif had in December said that about 9,000 tonnes of opium was being cultivated in Afghanistan and that it was odd that a huge cache of narcotics - amounting to almost $150 billion - was being smuggled in the presence of allied forces.

"Any free movement from their side to our side, or our side to their side, can breed mistrust and obviously some terrorist activity on our side or on their soil", Asif said.

Much of the opium, the main ingredient in heroin, is smuggled out of Afghanistan through Pakistan.

A key Pakistan Taliban commander has been killed in a United States drone strike close to the Afghan border in Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency, a media report said on Friday.

Notwithstanding the lack of funding, Asif predicts the Afghanistan-Pakistan fence will be constructed by 2019.

At the previous meeting in Kabul on February 03, Pakistan proposed five joint working groups, which will focus on ensuring comprehensive engagement for countering terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation and connectivity. "It's in our mutual interest that the border is fenced".

Asif repeated the claims when talking to Bloomberg, noting most of the estimated 600,000 Afghan refugees who went back to their home country in 2017 returned to Pakistan. Some border disputes between the two neighbors have triggered armed clashes.

The apparent target of the strike was Haqqani network's local commander, Qudrat Ullah, but it was unclear if he was among those killed when the drone's missiles struck the compound, two officials said.

The move was initiated since the U.S. is unhappy with Pakistan's approach to terrorists on home soil.

Friday's visit came days after Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua traveled to Afghanistan and met with Afghan officials following series of militant attacks in Kabul that killed over 200 people.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.