Monday, 20 November, 2017

Pakistan Army launches Khyber-4 operation

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Saul Franklin | 17 July, 2017, 20:46

"JIT was constituted by the Supreme Court".

This was announced by Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor in Rawalpindi this afternoon.

"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". The members of the JIT have worked with "honesty" and "dedication", he said, in reply to another question.

About Ehsan Ullah Ehsan a leader of TTP, he apprised a questioner that he would be tried in the court of law according the state laws. He informed the media that it was going to be a rather hard land operation owing to the treacherous terrain and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would supplement the army.

Ghafoor said people who believe that the army is doing its best for the country are not part of a campaign to discredit the institution on social media.

Referring to the recently held Apex Committee meeting in Karachi, he said the forum had chose to review and implement all the decisions taken by it earlier. The COAS, he said had been provided all the evidences and proofs against the Agent and he will take decision based on the facts and evidences. 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.

"As regards inside Afghanistan, yes, Daesh is getting stronger there, is gaining strength".

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)".

In the past, Islamabad insisted ISIL had no presence on its soil, in response to Afghan claims that hundreds of Pakistani Taliban fighters were now loyal to ISIL.

"Once this operation is complete, we will first secure the worldwide border on our side and eliminate the hideouts of these terrorist groups", he added.

The Karachi operation was initiated in September 2013, on the directives of the federal government to purge the city of terrorist elements. He said Afghan forces will have to strengthen its footprints on its soil to check the influence of terrorist outfits like DA'ISH.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to militants operating along their porous border.

"No other force will have boots on the ground in our country".

"In Pakistan, the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has shown an alliance with Daesh". But, Daesh as an organisation does not exist here.

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He says Pakistan has informed Afghan authorities and urged them to take similar measures on their side of the border. He said multiple "terrorist" organisations with links to recent attacks in Pakistan had safe havens on the other side of border.

As far as the situation within Afghanistan was concerned, he said that it was a well known fact that the security forces of brotherly and friendly nation were unable to tackle their internal situations.

Maj Gen Ghafoor said shared borders with Afghanistan and Iran will be physically and technically monitored, with either forts or a checkpost every 1.5 kilometre.

Making a statement on situation in Afghanistan, Asif Ghafoor said Afghan forces are losing its hold over the areas under its control.

"As many as 56 major operations including the Mastung operation and over 9,000 intelligence based operations were launched while over 1,500 joint check-posts were established across Pakistan", he said.

He said Pakistan forces had been exercising restraint but whenever reacted it was in retaliation to the unprovoked firing whereby directly engaging the Indian posts from where the fire was being originated.

In Sindh, 522 terrorists have "willingly surrendered" under RuF, he said, adding that 15 terrorists had been killed in operations in the province. Barrister Zafarullah said that numerous papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts.

DG ISPR stated that 46 operations were carried out under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad across Pakistan.

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

Major Gen. Ghafoor said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) has been "especially tense" and there has been 580 ceasefire violations this year alone.

There were 382 in 2016, 248 in 2015 and 315 in 2014, he said.

"This indicates the Indian aim of diverting attention from political upheaval in Indian Occupied Kashmir", he said.

Highlighting the role of Pakistan Army in restoring writ of the state, he quoted Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as saying "We are building peace in our country brick by brick; moving from relative stability towards an enduring peace".

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