USA eyes cooperation with Pakistan vital for peace in South Asia

Violet Powell
February 11, 2018

A key Pakistan Taliban commander has been killed in a USA drone strike close to the Afghan border in Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency, a media report said on Friday.

The strike took place in the mountainous Barmal district of Paktia province, where fighters from both the Haqqani network and Pakistan's Tehrik-e-Taliban militant group are believed to operate.

In his remarks, the minister said peace in the war-torn country of Afghanistan was imperative for the progress of Pakistan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, told reporters in Islamabad Friday he was unaware of the drone strike.

It is extremely rare for US authorities to comment on CIA-run drone operations in Pakistan.

Hizb Ullah was also involved with shipments of IED precursor chemicals supplied from Pakistan to Afghanistan for the Taliban and Jamaat-ul-Dawa al-Qu'ran (JDQ).

Washington has designated Sajna a global terrorist.

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Accoding to Pakistan media, "Khan Said Sajna, deputy commander of Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan along with three Haqqani network terrorists killed in USA drone attacks in Afghanistan and North Waziristan of Pakistan".

Afghan and USA officials have long alleged insurgents use sanctuaries in Pakistan for planning deadly attacks on the other side of the border, charges Islamabad denies.

Sajna was wanted by the authorities in Pakistan in several cases including suicide attacks on security forces and a 2012 Bannu jailbreak in which 384 prisoners fled.

The officials said there were unconfirmed reports about the killing of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander, Khalid Mehsud, who is also known as commander Sajna, in a separate strike in neighboring Afghanistan.

Earlier on February 3, a high-level Pakistani delegation led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, had visited Kabul for the first round of discussion with their Afghan neighbours.

The discussions come amid heightened bilateral tensions following a spate of deadly Taliban attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.

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