Islamabad – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday condemned last week’s deadly attack on a Pakistani air force base and said Afghanistan will never allow its land to be used against Pakistan.
“The Afghan President condemned the attack on the air force base and extended his heartfelt condolences on demise of civil and military personnel in the incident,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
It added, “the Afghan President said Afghanistan will never allow its land to be used against Pakistan by anyone”.
The condemnation came after Ghani telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the days following the attack.
Pakistani Taliban militants dressed in official uniforms attacked the air force base near the northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, killing at least 29 people, most of them soldiers, the group’s deadliest assault in months following a major military offensive against them.
All 14 attackers were also killed by security agencies.
The insurgents entered the residential compound at the base, attacking a mosque where they killed 16 air force personnel as they were about to offer dawn prayers.
Another seven air force personnel were also killed in a barrack adjacent to mosque. Three from the army and three civilians were also killed.
A splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack in an e-mail sent to journalists.
Military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said Friday the attackers came from Afghanistan and the attack was planned and controlled from there.
Islamabad and Kabul regularly accuse each other of supporting militants who cross the porous border to carry out attacks and of giving sanctuary to them.
Afghanistan in particular accuses Pakistan of supporting Afghan Taliban insurgents, while Pakistan has been demanding Afghanistan hand over hardline cleric Fazlullah, head of the TTP who is believed to be hiding in eastern Afghanistan.
The army launched the “Zarb-e-Azb” operation in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan tribal area and so bring an end to the bloody decade-long Islamist insurgency that has cost Pakistan thousands of lives.