Pakistan

Operation Zarb-e-Azb to end this year: Dar

LAHORE: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has indicated this is the last year for completion of ongoing military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ against terrorists.

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The minister said government was devising a plan for return of internally displaced persons. He said plan for rehabilitation of IDPs was also afoot.

Pakistan Army launched operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in the North Waziristan tribal area and so bring an end to the bloody decade-long Islamist insurgency that has cost Pakistan thousands of lives.

The army intensified its offensive after last year’s Peshawar school attack which killed 151 since when there has been a lull in violence.

The last major attack in the city came in February when three heavily armed Taliban militants stormed a Shia mosque, killing 21 people.

Overall levels of violence have dropped dramatically this year, with 2015 on course for the fewest deaths among civilian and security forces since 2007 — the year the Pakistani Taliban umbrella group was formed.

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