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President Zardari Vows Retaliation after Terror Attack

Defense minister separately calls for national unity to overcome threat, adding majority of terrorism in Pakistan originates from Afghanistan

by Staff Report

File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday vowed retaliation for the martyrdom of soldiers by terrorists, stressing that the blood of martyrs will not go in vain.

On Saturday, seven soldiers—including two officers—were martyred in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali area after militants targeted a police checkpost with hand grenades in a tehsil of Mohmand district. Speaking with media after attending the funeral prayers of Lt. Col. Syed Kashif Ali and Capt. Muhammad Ahmed Bader at Rawalpindi’s Chaklala Garrison, Zardari promised to all soldiers deployed on borders that the “blood of our sons will not go in vain.”

Vowing retaliation, he said the entire country stands in solidarity with its armed forces, adding Pakistan would not hesitate to strike back if attacked by anyone at borders or inside its territory. “This noble sacrifice stands as another glorious testament to the unflinching resolve of our gallant sons, who have never hesitated to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the defense of our motherland,” he said.

In addition to Zardari, the foreign and interior ministers, the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, the chief of Army staff, relatives of martyrs and locals of the area attended the funeral.

In a subsequent press conference in Sialkot on Sunday, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said terrorism in Pakistan mostly originated from neighboring Afghanistan. He said authorities had already traced some of the culprits and raised the issue with Kabul. Referring to the repatriation policy introduced by the former interim government, he said any foreign nationals lacking valid documents would no longer be allowed to live in Pakistan.

“Our security forces have made countless sacrifices against terrorism and the defense of this country has been kept strong by the blood of our martyrs,” he said, stressing that unity was necessary to overcome the threat. If prevailing divisions persist, he warned, “this war could spread to every street and neighborhood.”

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