Zarb-e-Azb established Govt’s writ in FATA, say DG ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue till the country was rid of terrorism and the armed forces would not allow reversal of its gains, Director General, ISPR, Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said.

Addressing a press briefing on the conclusion of two-year of operation Zarb-e-Azb, he said, it was a big and long war and it was going on successfully.

“In two years the whole nation got united, a strategic decision was made and we are making headway. We defeated a complex problem of terrorism. Pakistanis are a brave and resilient nation and unnecessary blame game and undermining of our sacrifices is unacceptable.”

Before the launch of operation, Afghanistan was informed about its every aspect, he said adding North Waziristan was under control of terrorists and it was a no go area and known the world over for its terrorist network, he said while recounting the facts leading to launch of Zarb-e-Azb.

He said the operation was launched in phases and people were provided opportunity to be shifted to safe areas. The terrorist’s hideouts were destroyed in Shawal and many operations were carried out in FATA and Swat for establishing writ of the government with sacrifices of our troops, he added.

He said Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) and combing operations were carried out in the four provinces to stop terrorists from spreading.

Operations were also undertaken against the facilitators with the help and cooperation of the citizens, he added.

During the operation, he said 7591 IEDs, 35310 mortar bombs and rockets, 2481 land mines and suicide jackets were recovered. The troops seized about 253 tons of explosive which according to some calculations was enough for the terrorists to make ammunition and IEDs for 15 years.

During the two years operation, 3500 terrorists were killed and 992 of their hideouts were destroyed.

He said 490 army personnel including 16 officers were martyred while 2108 others were wounded. “The wounded included those who have either lost their legs, or arms, or eyes, or much more. Despite all that they are in very high spirit and are ready to lay their lives for the cause of the motherland.”

Recounting the details about operation in Karachi which he termed as essential for ensuring gains of Zarb-e-Azb he said 1200 terrorists were killed and nabbed and there was remarkable reduction in incidents of terror and crime in the megapolis.

The DG said during the rehabilitation phase in FATA, schools, mosques and markets are being built and basic infrastructure is developed, adding 700 kilometer long road is being built in

Waziristan. He said on this chunk of newly built raod an international level car rally would be organized by the end of the year.

Health sector in the area was neglected and now the army chief has inaugurated a 100 bed hospital besides launching of a number of water supply schemes.

He expressed hope that the situation will improve further, adding it is important to not let the terrorists return to the areas. There is need to consolidate the gains of Zarb e Azab by putting in place proper border management systems.

The DG said new wings of FC and para-military forces are being raised to man the check posts, allowing the visitors after proper verification, along 2600 km porous border with Afghanistan.-APP