Killing of Pakistan Taliban chief 'significant'

Eid al Fitr 2018

GettyThe decision marks the terror group’s first ceasefire in the nation since the US invasion in 2001

The tribes are fiercely independent and despite the Pakistani army's claims they were going after foreign fighters fleeing the war in Afghanistan, the backlash against the Pakistani government led to the formation of a branch of the Taliban.

Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed during a USA drone strike that took place in north-eastern Kunar, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) acknowledged that its leader had been killed, according to Turkey's Anadolu Agency.

The U.S. State Department began offering a $5 million reward for Fazullah in March.

US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell said US forces conducted a "counterterrorism strike" which targeted "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization".

Hours after the telephone call between President Ghani and Gen Qamar, The Express Tribune acquired pictures of the purported graves of Mullah Fazlullah and his four commanders somewhere in eastern Afghanistan. Leading a delegation, Bajwa landed in Kabul on the first day of a landmark cease-fire declared by the government against the Taliban. This time however, the Afghan defence ministry has officially confirmed his death.

"Ghani has full blessings of the U.S. administration and it is crucial for the U.S. officials to prove that (U.S. President Donald) Trump's policies are working and talks with the Afghan Taliban are imminent", said a senior diplomat who met Afghan officials on Sunday to monitor the chance of back-channel talks with Taliban leaders. "We heard from our people that ameer saib (Mullah Fazlullah) was travelling in a vehicle along with four other commanders when he came under drone attack in Chaugam area of Shegal", said a TTP member on condition of anonymity.

Although the group still stages attacks in Pakistan, it is believed to have lost control of all territory in the South Asian country since its massacre of 150 people at an army school in Peshawar in December 2014 prompted the all-out government campaign against the group.

The Pakistani Taliban, whose Urdu name is Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, has also threatened attacks against the US homeland. Anything that helps Pakistan in that regard should be seen as a big plus.

Pakistan has long accused DC and Afghanistan for harboring Fazulllah in Afghanistan, using his presence there as a rebuttal to criticism for not aggressively the Haqqani Network within Pakistan.

"As previously stated, the cease-fire does not include United States counterterrorism efforts against IS-K (Daesh), Al-Qaeda, and other regional and global terrorist groups, or the inherent right of USA and worldwide forces to defend ourselves if attacked".

"Pakistan has always been demanding action against him [Fazlullah], which finally has been taken".

Also, he added, the development could also accelerate ongoing efforts to reduce diplomatic tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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