More or Enough? Operation zarb-e-Azb & Khyber-1…

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By Muhamamd Daud Khan

 

 

Prime Minister Nawaz Shrif along with his Army Chief Raheel Shrif visited Miramshah, North Waziristan on 9th October; the PM was informed that 80 percent of the area has been cleared.

The official sources claim that over 1000 terrorists were killed while the army’s casualties are said to be 86, more than 90 hideouts and 15 IED factories of the terrorists were destroyed with over 23 tons of explosives and scores of weapons confiscated in the ground sweep carried out by the troops.

Due to military operation one million civilians have been displaced from the area to other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. The media had variously described the operations as a “battle of national survival” to eliminate TTP and its allied groups.

The operations in North Waziristan began in right earnest but informally from 21 May onwards, when fighter jets, helicopters carried out extensive strikes in and around Miramshah and Mir Ali. Even artillery was used. Only after the TTP attack on the Karachi airport did the army give an official code name to the operations on the 15th of June as Zarb-e-Azb and maintained that it was a coordinated operation involving air force, artillery, tanks and thousands of troops.

Pakistan army  grounded 30,000,  troops  The Inter Services Public relations (ISPR) headed by Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said -” Using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists had waged war against the State of Pakistan and had been disrupting our normal life in all its dimensions, stunting our growth and causing enormous life and property.”

Though North Waziristan was the hub of many foreign and local militant groups, NWA was home to Al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement of China, Afghan, the Tehreeh-e- Taliban (TTP and others Militant Group.

The Pakistan Army requested its counterparts of Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police to eliminate the TTP and destroy its sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan. Islamabad strongly protested over the presence of TTP chief Fazlullah operating out of Kunar province and Afghan forces giving shelter to him.

Gen. Bajwa said that Afghanistan had been requested to take action against terrorist outfits in Kunar and Nuristan but so far no action has been taken.

The foreign elements particularly the Uzbecks and the Chechens have been scattered. The Green book of Pak Army of 2014 makes a revealing statement under the chapter “Sub continental warfare.” It noted that Islamic radical groups operating from within Pakistan pose a bigger threat to the country’s security than traditional rival- India. This is true and the Pakistani security planners must be aware of this.

General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) spent his Eid day on the front lines visiting troops participating in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He offered his Eid prayer with troops at Wana, spent time with them and later flew to Miranshah to meet the troops based at North Waziristan. Reviewing the progress of the operation, COAS expressed his complete satisfaction over the achievements made so far. While interacting with troops, COAS lauded their spirit and commitment in sustaining the operation with a remarkable degree of success. With this level of determination shown by the Army and the people of Pakistan, there is no doubt that we will root out the cancer of terrorism from our country for ever, he said. He paid glowing tributes to Shuhada and the wounded, who have rendered supreme sacrifice for defense of the country.

After the four month of military action Security forces have cleared Miramshah, Mirali, Datta Khel, Degan, Boya areas of North Waziristan which were considered strongholds of terrorists. An 88km long road from Khajuri to Mirali and then to Miramshah and Datta Khel has been cleared while the road from Ghariom and Jhallar has also been cleared. Also, 2,274 intelligence-led coordinated counter terrorism operations have been carried out throughout the country to prevent any blowback of the main operation in North Waziristan.

This operation will continue till the surrender or elimination of enemy,” Khawaja Asif, the Pakistani defense minister said.

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