ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's army chief General Syed Asim Munir vowed that militants destabilizing the country would be "hunted down" until they surrender, the army's media wing said on Wednesday as Pakistan grapples with a surge in militancy in its northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
The army chief's remarks came at the heels of Tuesday's fierce gunbattle in the South Waziristan district bordering Afghanistan, causing the deaths of six soldiers and four militants. The Pakistani Taliban or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the attack.
Munir visited Sherwangi area near Asman Manza in South Waziristan on Wednesday where the gunbattle had taken place a day earlier, the army's media wing said. The army chief was given a detailed briefing on the prevailing security situation, ongoing intelligence, and counter-terrorism operations.
"COAS [Chief of Army Staff] emphasized that terrorists, their affiliates and abettors working on the behest of hostile agenda to destabilize Pakistan will be hunted down until their surrender to the State of Pakistan," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
The ISPR said Munir interacted with officers and troops deployed in the area, appreciating their "unflinching resolve" to fight militancy.
Pakistan has seen a surge in attacks in its western areas, particularly KP, ever since the Afghan Taliban captured Kabul in August 2021, and a fragile truce between the Pakistani state and the TTP broke down in November 2022.
The TTP, which seeks to impose its own strict version of Shariah or Islamic law in Pakistan, has carried out some of the deadliest attacks in the country. The banned outfit's suicide blasts and militant attacks have resulted in thousands of civilian and military casualties over the past decade-and-a-half in Pakistan.