Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesperson on Friday confirmed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar province on June 13. Talking to CNN, the Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesperson, Mohammad Radmanish, said that Mullah Fazlullah, who led the TTP from 2013, was killed in the US strike. US forces had conducted the strike close to the border of Pakistan and targeted a “senior leader of a designated terrorist organisation,” Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, had said a day earlier. The strike comes amid a ceasefire between the Afghan Taliban and government security forces to mark the end of the Muslim’s holy month of Ramazan. Spokesman cleared that US would adhere to the ceasefire announced by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which did not include US counter-terrorism operations against other terror groups.
Mullah Fazlullah was named TTP chief after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike in November 2013. Although Taliban extremists still unleash attacks, the group has lost control of all territory in Pakistan since its December 2014 attack on an army school that killed 132 children. After the highly tragic incident, Pakistan intensified military operations against the militants and ultimately many terrorists escaped to the neighbouring Afghanistan. TTP was involved in some other terrorist incidents inside Pakistan and authorities had asked Afghanistan and Nato forces to take action against militants of TTP hiding inside Afghanistan near bordering areas.
It is pleasant news for Pakistan that one of the most notorious terrorist who was involved in many terrorist activities inside the country has been killed in a US drone strike. Pakistan has reiterated to work in coordination with Afghanistan and Nato forces operating in the region to achieve the same objective that is establishing peace and stability in the area. It is hoped that Washington and Kabul would work along with Islamabad to eradicate militant organizations operating and nurturing in the region. As per reports still Afghan government does not have control of large part of the country, it reflects that fact that extremists and militants still hold control in the country. The best way forward to defeat terrorism and extremism is to work side by side. The time has therefore come for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US to look towards the future. Especially considering that the strike against the TTP chief represents an important confidence-builing measure.
It is need of time that Pak, Afghanistan and the US work in coordination to eliminate terrorism from the region.