KABUL, Afghanistan: Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk described the killing of Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike in Afghanistan as a “significant development in the fight against terrorism.”
Mulk made the comment in a telephone conversation Friday night with Afghan President Ashraf Gani and thanked him for sharing information about Fazlullah’s killing, said a Pakistan government statement.
The call was initiated by Ghani, who tweeted that Fazlullah’s killing was “the result of tireless human intel by Afghan security agencies.”
A US official said the US believes that it is likely the strike killed Fazlullah, but efforts are ongoing to confirm his death. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary information.
In his tweet, Ghani said he also called Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. In both conversations Ghani said he urged Pakistan “to take practical steps to bring Afghan Taliban residing in Pakistan to the negotiation table.”
Thursday’s drone strike, which reportedly killed Fazlullah and five other insurgents when missiles slammed into the car in which they were driving, occurred just hours before Afghanistan’s Taliban began a three-day cease fire.
In his conversation with Ghani, Mulk said that Fazlullah’s death would be received throughout Pakistan with relief as Pakistanis had borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which Fazlullah headed.
The Pakistan government statement also said an “action had finally been taken against an enemy of the people and state of Pakistan.”
Fazlullah was killed in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar province. He had ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.