Army gets PM’s nod to take down terrorists


As the civilian and military leaderships narrowed their gaps over important national issues, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has agreed to army’s ‘prompt action’ against militants involved in terrorist attacks on security forces, Pakistan Today has learnt.

At least nine security personnel were martyred on Thursday in a terrorist attack in Miranshah, North Waziristan, and several others were injured. This was the fiercest attack on military personnel by militants since the dialogue process hit a stalemate.

The remote-controlled bomb attack was carried out in the Ghulam Khan Tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region. A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed that at least nine security personnel were killed and several others were critically wounded. The improvised explosive device (IED) was planted on the roadside which was detonated as the security forces convoy came near the Miranshah Road. No militant group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.


Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Prime Minister’s House Thursday to discuss the army’s strategy for tackling the situation.

It was the first meeting after tensions emerged between the civilian government and the General Headquarters (GHQ) after verbal assaults made by some cabinet ministers against former army dictator Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf. Attack on journalist Hamid Mir and accusations levelled by Geo TV’s management against the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief had further heated the environment. However, soon afterwards, efforts were launched for a reconciliation which paved the way for this meeting.

A well-placed source told Pakistan Today that the meeting between the army chief proved to be ‘very positive’ as both the leaders converged their differences over a host of national issues, including the action against the militants.

Moreover, the source added, it was agreed that a befitting and strong response would be made against the elements involved in attacks on the security personnel. The source said that only a few days back, the COAS had made it clear in a statement that attacks on polio workers would be tantamount to attack on the State and would not be tolerated come what may.

“Soon after the beheading of 23 soldiers by Taliban militants, the COAS had ordered a strong army attack against militants which had left over 70 militants killed. This army action had compelled the TTP militants to announce a ceasefire and join peace negotiations. You may see such actions in near future,” the source added.

The source said that since taking over as the army chief, General Sharif had ordered strong retaliatory action whenever the security forces were attacked and such successful attacks had made the militants fearful of army.

“While the army chief has already made it clear that an attack on polio workers would be responded to strongly, what would be his reaction on the attacks on army personnel? You can gauge the seriousness of the army chief against terrorists. Thus, both the leaders have agreed on a strong retaliatory strategy,” the source added.

An official handout said that the army chief briefed the premier about the security situation in Karachi, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, said an official statement issued by Prime Minister’s House.

The COAS also shared the details of Thursday’s terror attacks in Miranshah where nine valiant soldiers embraced martyrdom, the statement said.

According to the statement, the prime minister also expressed his grief over the loss of precious lives of Pak Army soldiers and said that the sacrifices rendered by soldiers will not go in vain.