Middle East

Pakistan massacre mastermind killed in Afghanistan

Killing of Pakistani Taliban leader behind deaths of 130 children was key demand of Pakistan

Ekip   | 13.07.2016
Pakistan massacre mastermind killed in Afghanistan


By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

The killing in Afghanistan of the Pakistani militant behind the 2014 killing of more than 140 people in a Pakistani school has raised hopes of the two countries ending a diplomatic stand-off.

General John Nicholson, the head of US operations in Afghanistan, personally phoned the Pakistani Army chief Raheel Shareef on Wednesday to confirm the killing of Umar Narai, a senior leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“It can be a step forward, in my opinion, in terms of improving Islamabad’s strained ties not only with Kabul but Washington as well,” Abdul Khalique Ali, a Karachi-based political and security analyst, told Anadolu Agency.

“It was Pakistan’s longtime demand to target TTP militants operating from Afghanistan and the latest development will certainly work to subdue the trust deficit between the three allies."

The mistrust had been rooted in mutual allegations about sponsoring militants in each other's countries and was deepened when Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed by a US drone strike on Pakistani soil in May.

Pakistan brokered the first round of direct peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and government but they broke down when it emerged the group's founder Mullah Muhammad Omar was dead, triggering an internal power struggle, and have not recovered since.

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