At least two policemen were killed and seven injured in northwestern Pakistan in two separate attacks that came just over a week after the government and a key militant group announced a month-long ceasefire agreement
At least two policemen were killed and seven injured in northwestern Pakistan in two separate attacks that came just over a week after the government and a key militant group announced a month-long ceasefire agreement.
In the first attack on Saturday, two policemen posted near a reservoir in the Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were targeted using an improvised explosive device (IED). Abdul Samad Khan, a senior district police officer confirmed the incident, reported Dawn.
The second incident happened in Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan province, where a patrolling vehicle of police personnel was targeted using a roadside IED. Asad Nasir, senior superintendent of police (SSP) in Quetta, confirmed the attack. The explosion, he added, was executed using a remote control device.
Condemning the attack, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo said, "Subversive elements want to destroy the province's peace. The protection of citizens’ lives and properties is our foremost priority." He further added, "We will end the chaos of terrorism with the cooperation of the people."
No group has yet claimed the attacks.
Earlier this month, the government confirmed ongoing talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistan Taliban, and announced a month-long ceasefire till 9 December. The group, which dominates the mountainous northwestern region, is responsible for the killings of over 10,000 people, including security forces.
The peace talks, mediated by the Afghan Taliban, were criticized by several groups, including opposition parties. The talks, initiated by the government following the Afghan Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan, aren’t the first of its kind. Similar ceasefire agreements were also signed in the past, only to be broken later.
Following the Taliban return in Afghanistan, the TTP had stepped up its attacks on Pakistani security forces. Furthermore, Pakistani officials were of the view that coming six to seven years would be crucial for reaching any final agreement with the TTP.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network and the interior minister in the Taliban’s interim government, has reportedly been playing a role in the talks. Haqqanis, knowns for having good ties with both the Pakistan intelligence agency and the Pakistan Taliban, has emerged as a powerful faction in the Afghan Taliban.