Pakistan launches military operation near Afghan border

Marie Harrington
July 17, 2017

Pakistan Army with the support of Pakistan Air Force on early Sunday launched massive operation (Khyber-4) against the terrorists, hiding in the most hard hilly terrain of Rajgal Valley in Khyber Agency, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DGISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

Military spokesman Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor said Islamic State - also known as Daesh - was growing in strength inside Afghanistan, prompting Pakistan to launch an operation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The army had informed Afghan forces ahead of the launch of the Khyber-4 operation in Rajgal, he said, which the Afghan army would be able to support on their side of the border if they wished.

Over 7,000 IBOs have been conducted, and 22 terrorists killed in these operations, the DG ISPR said. He said worldwide border with Afghanistan will be fully secured to check infiltration of terrorists and to destroy their hideouts in our side of the border.

Alluding to Afghanistan, Ghafoor said across the Khyber Agency border there are safe havens for multiple "terrorist" organisations that are linked to recent attacks in Pakistan, including the Parachinar assault.

Elaborating situation on the Line of Control, Asif Ghafoor said India is committing massive ceasefire violations on LOC to divert world attention from the grave human rights violations and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris in the Occupied Kashmir.

Last month, Pakistani army chief had called for a greater border coordination and security cooperation with Afghanistan to contain the brewing threat of ISIL. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was not the only institution involved in the Raymond Davis affair, he said when asked to comment on the CIA contractor's book wherein he states former ISI chief Lt General Shuja Pasha orchestrated his release from the jail.

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It is a sub-judice matter and the SC will make its decision in the case, he said adding that it is the duty of every Pakistani to ensure the supremacy of the law and Constitution. He said around 1760 joint check-posts were erected with the help of police and other law enforcement agencies to keep vigil on the movement of terrorists in various parts of the country.

While answering a question, the ISPR DG said that the military is not directly related to the Panamagate and the JIT formed by the top court. Two of its members belong to the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence. "Here, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has pledged allegiance to Daesh".

Since the launch of Operation RuF, the army has launched 46 major operations in the country and over 9,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs). We fire towards bunkers where we think the firing is coming from.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were carried out.

He said the entire border will be fenced and it would be kept under electronic and manual vigil permanently by constructing forts and posts after every 1.5 km distance. This is "the most critical area in the [FATA]", said Maj. He said Pakistan believes in an open door policy with Afghanistan.

At the end of his press conference, the ISPR chief relayed a message from the army chief: "We are building peace in our country, brick by brick, moving from relative stability towards enduring peace. For this, the army should continue to perform its role with the support of all other state institutions", he said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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