Eliminate neighbours' enemies, US tells Pakistan
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Umar Khalifa, the mastermind of several terrorist attacks including the Bacha Khan University and Peshawar school assaults, has been killed in a US airstrike, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
“On July 9 Umar Khalifa, a known terrorist leader with the Tariq Gidar Group, was killed along with four other enemy combatants in a US Forces-Afghanistan airstrike in Nangarhar province,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter cook said.
Khalifa orchestrated multiple terrorist operations in Pakistan to include the January 2016 attack on Bacha Khan University, the September 2015 Badaber Air Force Base assault and the December 2014 Peshawar school carnage, he added.
“While this strike was taken pursuant to US rules of engagement, the specific relevance it has to Pakistan and Afghanistan's security underscores the common security interests shared by the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” Cook said.
The US maintained a robust counter-terrorism partnership with Afghanistan and Pakistan, he continued.“We recognise the sacrifices made on behalf of our respective militaries to pursue terrorists for the sake of regional peace and security.”
The spokesman stressed continued cooperation in eliminating terrorist safe havens in the region He recognised the importance of the Pakistanarmy chief’s recent directive to all commanders, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures against those who planned to attacks in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the State Department said that Pakistan must take action against terrorist networks targeting its neighbours.“We have been very clear that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbours, and close all safe havens.”
State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters: “We believe that Pakistan is taking steps to address terrorist violence, particularly focused on groups that threaten Pakistan’s stability. They have made progress shutting down terrorist safe havens.”
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