Operation Zarb-e-Azb still continuing in the country: DG ISPR
While briefing media representatives on the completion of the two years of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Bajwa said, the main aim of the operation was to eliminate terrorism from the country particularly from the North Waziristan agency which was a no-go area back then.
DG ISPR also admitted that border management was posing an immense challenge for the security officials.
“On the basis of intelligence sharing only, the army has conducted more than 19,000 operations across the country,” said the DG ISPR.
Before launching the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, security officials in Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were taken into confidence.
DG ISPR said that around 3500 terrorists have been killed in the anti-terrorism operation within two years.
Talking on the operations against terrorists in Karachi, Asim Saleem Bajwa said more than 1200 terrorists have been arrested or killed in the city, while 636 target killers were arrested in the metropolis. The government and the military are taking all decisions jointly and with coordination, he said.
Talking on the border hostilities and building of a gate on Torkham border, DG ISPR said that the border was lacking a checking system. The terrorists in Charsadda attack had passed through the Torkham point due to which a gate was necessary to be built at the border, he said.
The world must recognize Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terror, he said adding that “at least 500 Pakistani soldiers have died only in Operation Zarb-e-Azb.”
We believe rehabilitation process of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is an ongoing process and nearly 61pc IDPs have been sent back to their homes, said the DG ISPR.
DG ISPR said that some 3,600 square kilometres were cleared initially in the operation, which has gone up 4,304 sq km in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and North Waziristan, adding that 992 hideouts have been destroyed thus far.
He said there are just the last few pockets remaining in the Shawal valley, said Bajwa. Lt. Gen. Bajwa said forces recovered modern weapons from militants, which had been stolen from US troops.
He also revealed the challenges faced in the field, such as the dense forest and the unprecedented height of the Shawal valley and Dattakhel.
ISPR head said that the border management is still a challenge and management mechanisms are an upcoming focus.
He said, there are 1,350 kilometres of open, porous border with Afghanistan just in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, with only eight crossing points in that length.
Strengthening existing crossing points and raising paramilitary forces to bolster border management along the rest of the length is the new challenge, he added.