The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)Â director general has said Islamic State militants operating from Afghanistan were responsible for the recent terrorist attackÂ inÂ Parachinar.
â€œThese militants were pushed out of Pakistan in a successful military operation but they found refuge in areas across the border close to Khyber and Kurrum agencies,â€Â Major General Asif GhafoorÂ toldÂ Express News.
â€œThis concentration and contiguity [of terrorists] near the border allowed them toÂ make Parachinar their soft target,â€ he added.
Hundreds of protesters in Parachinar on Friday ended theirÂ eight-day long sit-inÂ after army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa assured them of better security, according to protest leaders and the military.
The protesters were staging a peaceful sit-in following two blasts at a market in the town on June 23 that killed at leastÂ 72 people and injured severalÂ others â€”Â the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted hundreds in the Kurram Agency.
â€œIslamic State militants,â€ the ISPR DG added, â€œare gaining strength in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan because of the absence of Afghan troops on the border.â€
The militants, he continued, were attempting to exploit a sectarian fault-line, which was also evident in the Middle East and elsewhere.
He reiterated that the Islamic State had not been allowed to gain foothold in Pakistan and there was no organised presence of the terroristÂ organisation in the country.
â€œThe fencing of the porous and difficult 2,600-km long Pak-Afghan border has already started and additional troops of the Frontier Corps have been deployed,â€ Maj Gen Ghafoor said.
â€œThis is in addition to establishing posts and forts to improve border management and security.â€
However, he added, this border security and management was still almost unilateral. â€œThere are loopholes on the Afghan side.â€