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Pakistan Minister Proposes Drone Bases to US for Counterterrorism 

A Pakistani provincial minister has proposed drone bases to the US for counter-terrorism operations as a terror attack killed 23 security personnel in the country’s restive northwest.

Balochistan interim information minister Jan Achakzai said counter-terrorism measures include “reprisal attacks in Afghanistan,” which borders Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the attack took place.

“Special targeted operations, air strikes, border closure with Afghanistan, return of Afghan refugees, anti-TTA (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) political opposition gathering in Islamabad” must be considered, Dawn quoted from the minister’s now-deleted tweet.

“Last, offer US drone bases to target AlQ [Al Qaeda] and other militants sanctuaries in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan-Afghan Militant Groups

Islamabad has asked the interim Afghan government to hand over the perpetrators of the attack and take “immediate” and “verifiable” actions against anti-Pakistan militant outfits.

Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) has claimed responsibility for the Monday attack, involving six terrorists ramming an explosive-laden truck into a military checkpoint in Dera Ismail Khan.

Pakistani officials consider TJP an alternate name of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). However, the TJP denies any affiliation with the TTP.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan 

The TTP is an umbrella organization of various armed Islamist groups operating along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The organization was formed in 2007 and shares ideological links with the Afghan Taliban.

It assisted the Afghan Taliban in their fight against the US-led international coalition until 2021, including hosting many Talian members in Pakistan.

US Drone Strikes in Pakistan

The US carried out thousands of drone strikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives from 2004 to 2018 in Pakistan’s tribal belt along Afghanistan.

Thousands of civilians were killed in the strikes as collateral damage, fueling anti-American sentiment in the country.

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