The Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan have become the sanctuary and launch pad for attacks into Pakistan by a host of terrorist groups and their leaders including Maulana Fazlullah, Faqeer Muhammad, Abdul Wali and Hakeemullah, said a Pakistani military spokesperson.
These groups are now conducting cross-border attacks into Pakistani territory, said Major General Athar Abbas in an interview with BBC Urdu.
The spokesperson said that Pakistani army had expressed its apprehensions when Nato and Afghan forces were abandoning their checkposts from Kunar and Nuristan.
The apprehensions have proven to be true, he said.
While Pakistan cannot take direct military action against terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan, a joint commission has been formed in Peshawar to address the issue of cross border attacks, the spokesperson said. The commission will decide how to deal with the militants, he added.
Detailing Pakistan’s engagement on the Pak-Afghan border, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has 147,000 troops deployed at 900 posts along the Afghan border.
Troops deployed on the other side are comparatively fewer, making it difficult to restrict the movement of terrorists across the border, he said.
Talking about videos of torture and killing of apprehended ‘terrorists’ by army personnel, the spokesperson said that the Army has little tolerance for such practices.
Action has been taken, and people have been suspended, when found involved in such acts, he said. Some of these videos have proven to be fabricated as well, he said, adding that details of internal inquiries within the armed forces are not made public because there’s a fear of ‘more harm than good’ being caused as a result.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.