'State Sponsored' Elements Behind Balochistan Attacks: Army Chief

General Syed Asim Munir Vows to continue operations against the militants who are proxies of the enemies of Pakistan

'State Sponsored' Elements Behind Balochistan Attacks: Army Chief

Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir on Saturday termed Friday's attacks on security forces in Zhob and on a Rabiul Awwal 12 rally in Mastung, which left over 55 dead, to be the work of "Khawarij" who have the backing of "state sponsors of terrorism" and that military operations against them will continue.

He said this while attending a briefing and later visiting hospitals in Quetta where victims of the two attacks are receiving treatment.

In a statement surrounding his visit issued by the military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief attended a meeting in Quetta alongside Federal Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, Balochistan's Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki, members of the caretaker provincial cabinet and other civil and military officials. They were briefed on the attacks which occurred in Balochistan on Friday.

"Such incidents of terrorism on Rabi' al-Awwal 12, depict the ill intent of the Khawarij, who have the backing of state sponsors of terrorism," he remarked as he paid rich tribute to the martyrs and prayed for them.

"These terrorists and their facilitators, having no link with religion," he said, adding that they are proxies of the enemies of Pakistan and its people.

"These forces of evil will continue to face the full might of the state and security forces backed by a resilient nation."

He added: "Our operation against terrorists would continue unabated, and the armed forces, intelligence and law enforcement agencies shall not rest till the menace of terrorism is rooted out from the country."

The army chief emphasised how the people of Pakistan had rejected the pseudo ideology and propaganda of the terrorists and their backers and that they are fully committed to peace, economic progress and human development.

These efforts, Gen Munir said, are causing a lot of distress to the forces of evil within and outside of Pakistan. 

Later, COAS Gen Munir visited the Combined Military Hospital (CMH)-- a military-run facility -- in Quetta, where he met with those injured in the Mastung incident.

He lauded the bravery and resilience of Balochistan Police and other law enforcement personnel. 

He assured full cooperation and support to the families of shuhada. He vowed that the terrorists, their abettors and facilitators would not be spared.

On Friday, a suicide bomber targeted an Eid Miladun Nabi procession in Mastung left at least 55 people dead, including a deputy superintendent of police. At least 70 people were injured in the attack.

Earlier on Friday, the military said that they had thwarted an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate from Afghanistan into Pakistan in Zhob.

A statement issued by the ISPR said that during an exchange of fire between security forces and militants, four soldiers embraced shahadat while three terrorists were killed and a few were injured.