General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army today announced that additional troops will be deployed in the terrorist-hit areas of Dir. Recently insurgents had killed 17 Pakistani soldiers in the Upper Dir district, after crossing over from Pakistan. Kayani also urged the NATO and the Afghan authorities to take necessary steps to dismantle the safe-houses and hide-outs operated by the militants on the Afghan side of the border.
Kayani visited the border village of Panakot, where a number of cross-border attacks have occurred. He promised that the Pakistani army will not leave the region until the militants are defeated completely. He also said that a smooth transition from the military power to civilian power will take place once the insurgents are destroyed. In addition to meeting various officials of the military who are posted in Dir, Kayani also held meetings with a number of tribal leaders in the region.
Gen Kayani thanked the pro-government tribal chiefs of the regions, especially those from Yousufzai, Painda Khel, Osi Khel, Sultan Khel, and Nasruddin Khel. Kayani urged the chieftains to strengthen the local militias in order to fight the extremists. The General held meetings with tribal chiefs from the border villages of Usherai Darra, Maidan, Barawal, and Shaltalo and promised them that the army will take all necessary steps to improve the security situation in the region.
The recent attack by the insurgents (believed to be affiliated to the Pakistan Taliban) occurred on June 24, when more than 100 of the militants crossed the border and outnumbered the Pakistani soldiers in a border post near Panakot. The militants captured and later beheaded a total of 17 soldiers. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan later released a graphic video showing the executions. Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the banned organization informed the media that the attack was conducted in response to continuing Pakistani government support to the NATO and the US.