Latest Breaking News: Pakistan Start military operation in Afghan Border > The Pakistan army said on Monday it had launched an air and ground offensive in Kurram region on the Afghan border, its first major military operation since the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden.
Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas gave few details of the operation in Kurram — a tribal region that had become increasingly used as a refuge for al Qaeda-linked militants.
But he said the offensive aimed to reopen the road to Parachinar, a Shia majority town on the Afghan border that had been virtually cut off from the rest of Pakistan for years and was facing increasing attacks from Sunni militants.
“The operation has been launched with the aim of clearing the region of militants who have indulged in kidnapping and suicide attacks on security installations and forces there,” Abbas said.
The offensive came days after a senior militant commander in Kurram deserted from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistani Taliban.
Commander Fazal Saeed Haqqani said he disagreed with attacks on Pakistani security forces and civilians.
The Afghan Taliban faction, the Haqqani network, had been involved in securing a peace deal for Kurram last year between militants and local Shia tribesmen, security officials and tribesmen said at the time.
But that deal fell apart as locals complained of growing attacks and isolation from the rest of the country.
With army convoys travelling between Parachinar and the provincial capital, Peshawar, even coming under attack, local people had been forced to travel in and out via Afghanistan.
Many militants had taken refuge in Kurram fleeing either U.S. drone bomb attacks in neighbouring North Waziristan or Pakistan military operations elsewhere.