Pakistan's Army Chief Asim Munir meeting soldiers along the Pak-Afghan border

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office confirmed that Afghan nationals were involved in July 13 “dastardly attack” on the Pakistan Army’s Zhob Garrison in Northern Baluchistan.

In a statement, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch revealed that three slain terrorists involved in the attack on the personnel of the Pakistan Army were identified as Afghan nationals. “The terrorists belong to Afghanistan’s Kandahar province,” she added.

As many as nine soldiers embraced martyrdom and five terrorists were killed in the attack. In the wee hours of July 12, a group of terrorists launched a dastardly attack on the garrison, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said, mentioning that the initial attempt to sneak into the facility was “checked by soldiers on duty”. During the heavy exchange of fire, nine soldiers — while fighting gallantly — laid down their lives in the line of duty. Meanwhile, five terrorists were also killed.

“Security forces remain determined to thwart all such ghastly attempts at destroying [the] peace of Balochistan and Pakistan,” the ISPR had added. The FO strongly condemned and expressed severe concerns over the use of Afghan soil and the unabated involvement of Afghan militants in terrorism inside Pakistan.

The FO also instructed the Afghan embassy in Islamabad to receive the bodies of slain terrorists. A day earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said if the Afghan interim government failed to take action, Pakistan had an option under international law to act in “self-defence” against the militants hiding inside Kabul.

While speaking to the media, he, however, made it clear that this should not be the first option for his government. The foreign minister also reminded Kabul of the Doha Accord. According to the Doha Accord, the Taliban had assured in writing that militant groups would not be allowed inside Afghanistan and nor would any militant group attack another country from inside Afghanistan.