ISLAMABAD: Afghan ambassador in Islamabad Dr Omar Zakhilwal on Thursday claimed the air strike which killed Peshawar Army Public School (APS) massacre mastermind Umar Mansur was ordered by President Ashraf Ghani.
Zakhilwal said the Afghan president had mandated the air strike on the top Pakistani Taliban leader, Umar Mansur alias Khalifa.
Peshawar school massacre mastermind confirmed dead in drone attack: ISPR
The United States Defence Department claimed that a drone strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on July 9 reportedly killed Umar Mansur, along with four others.
Mansur, alias Aurangzeb, was a member of the Tariq Geedar Group responsible for the 144 deaths in the Army Public School, the Peshawar Airport and the Bacha Khan University.
“The recent air strike which killed Umar Mansur (alias Khalifa Mansur) in Afghanistan, along with seven of his close associates, was ordered by President Ghani after details about their whereabouts were confirmed,” ambassador Zakhilwal said.
Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour killed in US drone strike in Pakistan
“This proves a practical testament to the fact that Afghanistan will not treat terrorists as assets and target them without distinction,” he said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.
Further, Pentagon also issued a statement regarding the attack after the top US commander in Afghanistan called on Army chief General Raheel Sharif to confirm Mansur's death.
“While this strike was taken pursuant to US rules of engagement and counter-terrorism interests, the specific relevance it has to Pakistan and Afghanistan's security underscores common security interests shared by the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan on matters of terrorism,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement posted online.
Pakistan seeks 'clarification' of US strike on Afghan Taliban leader
“The United States maintains a robust counter-terrorism partnership with Afghanistan and Pakistan and we recognise sacrifices made on behalf of our respective military to pursue terrorists for the sake of regional peace and security,” Cook said.
“Only through continued cooperation will we collectively succeed in eliminating terrorist safe havens in the region,” the Pentagon spokesperson said.
“In this regard we also recognise the importance of General Raheel's recent directive to all commanders, intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures against those who would attack Afghanistan,” he recalled.