SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)
Military spokesperson Major General Asim Bajwa said on Wednesday that in the wake of the ongoing operation in North Waziristan, Afghanistan was not cooperating with the Pakistan Army the way they had hoped.
Briefing the media in Peshawar on the army operations in North Waziristan and Khyber-I, the director general Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that before Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched, Afghanistan was informed and requested to dislodge, hand-over and kill the militants fleeing the region.
Bajwa went on to say that the leadership of splinter groups of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are operating from Afghanistan.
“Banned TTP outfit leadership is operating from Afghanistan,” DG ISPR said, adding that splinter groups have bases in Afghanistan from where they make videos and contact media groups from. However, he said the militants are not ‘organised’ anymore.
Furthermore, Maj Gen Bajwa also said that Operation Khyber-I was launched in Khyber Agency to tackle militants fleeing North Waziristan owing to the ongoing Operations Zarb-e-Azb.
However, he affirmed that all militants would soon be indiscriminately and permanently eliminated from Pakistan.
“We will eliminate all militants this time,” he asserted, assuring that no one will be allowed to use Pakistan’s soil for terrorism.
Bajwa said several areas of North Waziristan have been cleared of militants as Zarb-e-Azb continues successfully. ”The operation is currently ongoing in Datta Khel,” he informed, “The Pakistan Army has got control of all major areas in North Waziristan.”
He went on to add that “132.5 tonnes of explosives and 2 million tonnes of ammunition have been recovered from North Waziristan.”
He reiterated that over 1,100 militants have been killed so far in Operation Zarb-e-Azb alone, excluding the operations in Karachi and Khyber Agency.
He added 100 Pakistan Army soldiers have also been killed while fighting in the operation.
Shifting his focus to Operation Khyber-I in Khyber Agency, Bajwa said 44 milliants have been killed while 100 have been arrested in the region. He added that just as immediate effects of Zarb-e-Azb could be seen in the various cities of Pakistan with a decline in terrorist activities, there has been a similar decline in terrorism in Peshawar owing the Khyber-I.
“Over 199 militants have surrendered so far,” the DG ISPR said
“This operation is steady and short-footed, we realise that militants can accumulate here but it is clear that we will kill all militants indiscriminately and clearance is happening but the way it is progressing we are certain militancy will end from here forever.”
“We have support from locals because the residents are sick of militancy as well,” the DG ISPR said.
Responding to a question regarding Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Bajwa said, “It is not possible to give a time-frame.”
However, he said that he has been informing people of the progress of the operation.
“We have a plan and sequence to follow to ensure the people (IDPs) who move back do not face any dangers anymore,” he said regarding the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons.
Bajwa appealed to residents to inform authorities of any movement regarding terrorism.