ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday formally confirmed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the death a senior fugitive Taliban commander responsible for the 2014 massacre of dozens of pupils at a military-run school.
The death of Umar Narai, aka Khalifa Umar Mansoor, a senior commander of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a US drone strike in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar was revealed last week. He had claimed credit for the methodical killings at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif thanked the Afghan leader, who spoke to him by phone, for the “elimination of TTP terrorists from Afghan soil” responsible for the APS carnage, according to a statement issued by his office. Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad Dr Omar Zakhilwal had earlier claimed the ‘air strike’ on the TTP commander was ‘ordered’ by President Ashraf Ghani.
The Afghan leader told Premier Nawaz that the APS attack mastermind, along with four accomplices, was killed a few days back in a coalition forces’ strike, reads the PM house statement. “He [the Afghan leader] said the APS massacre was a great tragedy for Pakistan and the world and the perpetrators got the ultimate response.”
The prime minister said Pakistan was fighting terrorism and was fully committed to eliminating the last terrorist from its soil and Pakistani security forces have given unparalleled sacrifices while doing that. “I will lead the campaign to eliminate every terrorist from the soil of my country. Terrorism is a common threat for both countries and must be eliminated through better coordination,” Nawaz was quoted as saying in the statement.
The US Defence Department said this week that the Nangarhar drone strike on July 9 had killed Umar Mansoor, along with four others.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2016.