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Army launches operation in tribal areas targeting ISIS

17 July, 2017, 13:38 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • DG ISPR rejects conspiracy allegation

A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, saying that they hope to unilaterally secure the global border, eliminate hideouts and complete the state's complete physical hold on Khyber Agency in the operation. "However, Daesh is getting stronger in Afghanistan but is still far from making a base the way it did in the Middle East".

Addressing a press conference on the launch of a new military operation in Khyber Agency, the army spokesperson faced a barrage of queries related to the country's political situation despite his repeated refusals to get into any controversy. He said multiple "terrorist" organisations with links to recent attacks in Pakistan had safe havens on the other side of border.

He said that the operation would first secure the border near Rajgal Valley and forces would then clear the rest of the area.

This will be the fourth time an operation will displace the people of Khyber Agency since 2014.

In Punjab, the DG ISPR said Punjab Rangers with the support of Counter Terrorism Department had carried out 6 major operations while about 7000 IBOs were undertaken. "Around 500 families had been living in this area, which are now staying on safer places as Temporarily Displaced Persons", he added. He said on average there will be a fort or check post after every 1.5 kilometres. Alongside the border fencing, Pakistan and Afghanistan will maintain an open-door policy for cooperation and discussion on bilateral issues, particularly in order to remove what he said was "a trust deficit" on the Afghan side.

He said on the ground Pakistan Army would be carrying out operation while the support of PAF would be sought on as and when required basis.

Current ceasefire violations have resulted in the highest number of civilian casualties than in the past, the DG ISPR said.

To a question, he said the Chief of Army Staff General Qammar Javed Bajwa will take a final decision on the mercy plea of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the earliest.

Codenamed Khyber-4, the military operation will target militant hideouts in what Major General Asif Ghafoor called "the most critical area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)".

"The entire country, the state's institutions, are all one on CPEC", he assured.

"We are building peace in our country brick by brick and moving from relative stability towards enduring peace". "There is no direct army involvement in the JIT" he asserted, adding that the "Pakistan Army will continue playing its role for the security of Pakistan with other institutions".

General Asif Ghafoor, director general of Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations on Sunday.

Ghafoor said that "There is a blame game as to why the Haqqani network is here", and said his country fought against all terrorists. "It is a sub-judice matter and the Supreme Court will make its decision in the case", he said. However, the investigation team had two members of Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they honestly shoulder their duties.



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