PTI chief Imran Khan blames security forces’ negligence for rising terrorism in Pakistan

Islamabad [Pakistan], February 12 (ANI): Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan blamed the negligence of Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies for the rising incidents of terrorism in the country, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

Khan, in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) aired on Saturday, spoke about the criticism received by the PTI for its decision to negotiate with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) before the party was ousted.

To a question from VOA correspondent Sarah Zaman asked on whether he stands by his decision to greenlight the dialogue with the TTP, Khan was quoted in the Dawn report as saying, "Well, firstly, what were the choices [the] Pakistani government faced once the Taliban took over and they decided the TTP, and we’re talking about 30, [30,000] to 40,000 people, you know, the families included, once they decided to send them back to Pakistan? Should we have just lined them up and shot them, or should we have tried to work with them to resettle them."Khan said his government had a meeting at that time and the idea behind it was resettlement with the "concurrence of politicians all along the border".

"But that never happened because our government left and once our government was removed, the new government took its eye off the ball," he said.

"But then where were the Pakistani security forces? Where were the intelligence agencies? Could they not see them regrouping?" the former PM asked.

"How could we be held responsible for their negligence?" the PTI chief asked.

On Saturday, at least three Pakistani police security personnel were killed and 22 others, including civilians, were injured when a convoy of the army came under attack in the Mir Ali sub-division of the North Waziristan district, the Dawn reported.

The local officials in the region said the convoy of security forces and employees of the Marri Petroleum Company was on its way from North Waziristan to Bannu when a rickshaw struck the team. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

"This rickshaw was parked on the roadside in the middle of parked vehicles when it suddenly appeared and struck a vehicle of the security forces," a local official said, adding that three security personnel were killed in the attack and 22 others, including 15 employees of the gas and oil exploration company, sustained injuries, reported Dawn.

The attack in Balochistan is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks which have witnessed a rise since the outlawed TTP ended the ceasefire with the Pakistan government in 2021, according to Dawn. (ANI)