Pakistan Army said on Thursday that the ongoing military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan Agency against the militants would be completed in four stages with complete elimination of terrorists. This was stated by high officials of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) and Ministry of Information during a media briefing regarding the military offensive in NWA.
The officials stated that in the first phase of the operation, the terrorists would be eliminated from NWA. In the second phase, the military would establish writ of the government in the tribal agency. Reconstruction and rehabilitation would be carried out in the third phase and political administration would be asked to complete the remaining task in fourth phase, they added. The officials said that the ground offensive against the militants was yet to be started in the civilian population.
Meanwhile, ISPR in a statement said that at least 23 more suspected militants were killed in the ongoing operation. Around 15 suspected militants were killed in Zartatangi mountain heights, East of Miramshah in North Waziristan late on Wednesday when one of the main suspected communication centers of militants was targeted by Cobra gunship helicopters of the Pakistan Army. Eight Uzbek militants who were planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Miranshah-Mirali road were also killed near Miranshah by military snipers. Security forces were also cordoning off the residential areas sheltering the suspected militants in North Waziristan tribal region. In this back ground, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif also visited Air Headquarters here and called on Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt. Progress of the ongoing operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ was reviewed and matters of mutual interest were discussed.
The ISPR further states that the evacuation of civil population from Miranshah and Ghulam Khan areas of the region started on Thursday, adding that check points have been established at various places where internally displaced persons (IDPs) are being provided all administrative support including food items and medicine by security forces. Moreover, an IDP camp was established at Bannu and the numbers of registration points were increased to 20 at Saidgai post including 10 each for men and women to ensure speedy and organised evacuation.