• Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Reports on Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan ‘utterly baseless’: FO

Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addressing the weekly press briefing. — Facebook/PTI
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addressing the weekly press briefing. — Facebook/PTI
  • Pakistan denies conducting any airstrike in Afghanistan. 
  • Foreign Office terms reports utterly baseless and malicious.
  • Some Afghan journalists circulated fake news on WhatsApp groups.

Reports that Pakistan had conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan were categorically denied by the Foreign Office as it labelled them as “utterly baseless and malicious”.

The FO statement comes after some Afghan journalists continuously reported fake news on Thursday that Pakistani fighter jets had pounded the suspected hideouts of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. However, the security authorities of the two countries denied their claim.

The journalists even shared an old photo of smoke pouring out of a mountain, claiming that it was the place that was targeted by the Pakistani jets, according to The News.

The fake news was also widely shared in the WhatsApp groups of Afghan journalists, claiming that several Pakistani militants were killed in the airstrikes.

Interestingly, the Pakistani security officials as well as the TTP militants in Afghanistan denied reports of airstrikes.

According to sources cited by a newspaper based in Afghanistan, Hasht-e-Subh Daily, Pakistan “bombed targets in Salala neighbourhood near Gushta district” on Thursday morning.

Reacting to the reports in Afghan media, Baloch said the reports are “utterly baseless and malicious”.

The development is significant as Pakistan has witnessed a sharp rise in terror incidents, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, during the past couple of months after the proscribed TTP declared to end the ceasefire with Pakistan on November 28 last year.

The banned outfit is reponsible of over 100 attacks last year. Most of these attacks took place after August when their peace talks with the government proved fruitless.

Following unusual resurgence of terror activities in the country, the top security forum — the National Security Committee (NSC) — decided that no country will be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists and Pakistan reserves all rights to safeguard its people.

In this 40th meeting of the NSC held in Islamabad, the forum vowed to respond firmly to the resurgent terrorism and declared militants as “enemies of Pakistan.”

Pakistan welcomes killing of Daesh militants  

Meanwhile, at the weekly media briefing, the spokeswoman appeared lukewarm to news coming from Kabul that the Daesh militants involved in the attack on Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul had been killed and this had not changed Pakistan’s position regarding its Charge’ d’affaires.

“We have seen the reports and are trying to verify them. We will share our position once we have verified this information. Pakistan’s Charge’ d’ Affaires is here for consultations and he will go back when these consultations are complete.”

She reaffirmed that Pakistan was both determined and capable of countering any threats to its peace and security and would continue to be engaged with Afghanistan to discuss all matters of mutual concern, including safety and security along the border.

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