Two Pakistani soldiers killed in shootout with militants

Pakistani soldiers keep vigil from a post on top of a mountain in the former Taliban militants strong hold border area in Shawal valley North Waziristan on May 20, 2016. (AFP/File)
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Updated 20 September 2020

Two Pakistani soldiers killed in shootout with militants

  • Attack took place during a search operation in the Spalga area near Miranshah in North Waziristan
  • Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a roadside bomb attack that killed three soldiers


 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military on Sunday said two soldiers were killed in a shootout with militants during a search operation in the country’s northwest, a former militant stronghold.

The operation was conducted late Saturday in the Spalga area near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

The area has served as a base for Pakistani and foreign militants until recent years, when the military claimed troops had cleared it.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a powerful roadside bomb attack in northwestern Pakistan that targeted a military vehicle, killing three soldiers and wounding four.

That attack raised fears that the Pakistani Taliban were regrouping in the region. Also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, they are a separate insurgent group from the Afghan Taliban, although Pakistan’s militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban have been targeting the military and civilians across the country since 2001, when Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Since then, the militants have declared war on the government of Pakistan and have carried out numerous attacks, including a brutal assault on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed 140 children and several teachers.


CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

Updated 03 December 2020

CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

  • Major General Babar Iftikhar says much of the 'fake news' against the security institutions of the country can be traced back to Indian social media accounts
  • The military spokesperson warns the international community that any change to the balance of power in South Asia will be 'disastrous' for everyone

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military spokesperson, Major General Babar Iftikhar, said on Thursday that India had ratcheted up its anti-Pakistan campaign in military, diplomatic, information and economic spheres since it was fearful of Pakistan's positive trajectory and considered the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a threat to itself.
In an interview to a local online publication, he said that CPEC was not just about "north-south connectivity" to consolidate the interests of Beijing and Islamabad but also sought to integrate the whole region and make Pakistan its economic hub.
"Somewhere Indians decided that there is a timeline beyond which this project becomes irreversible," he told Global Village Space. "They feel that the progress of this project must be retarded as much as possible so that it doesn't cross that timeline and can somehow be reversed."
The military spokesperson said that the security threat around the corridor project had increased, though he also maintained that Islamabad had provided the world sufficient evidence of India's sponsorship of terrorism through a newly unveiled dossier that was "taken very seriously by the international community."
Asked if Pakistan had taken up the issue of Indian terror training camps in Afghanistan with the administration in Kabul, he said: "We have always acknowledged that the Afghan government has capacity issues. That is also the reason why we never really blamed them for what is happening from the Afghan soil. However, we keep sharing such information with them — it's a regular thing — and have also shared the information in the dossier at appropriate levels."
Iftikhar maintained that India had launched a disinformation campaign against Pakistan, saying that much of the "fake news" against the country and its security institutions could be traced back to Indian social media accounts.
"It is a major challenge, especially what is happening on social media," he said. "However, the best way to handle this is transparency, the best way to handle this is to not leave any information voids, the best way to handle this is to pass on credible information, and that is exactly what we are trying to do here."
"Pakistan is subjected to the fifth-generation warfare and we are aware of that," he continued.
Asked about India's military spending and its recent defense deal with the United States, the military spokesperson said: "The international community has to understand that any major disturbance in balance of power in South Asia will not only be a major disaster for the region but also for the rest of the world. This balance of power must be maintained at every level. The more it is disturbed the more it gets dangerous."