Pakistan launches 'major' military operation against Daesh in tribal areas

Pakistan Army firing NASR missile July 2017

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Director General Asif Ghafoor has said that the army or the military establishment has no direct link with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), set up by the Supreme Court to investigate the alleged offshore assets of the Sharif family. A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, hoping they plan to unilaterally secure the global border, eliminate hideouts, and complete physical hold on Khyber Agency.

The army spokesman also shared details of countrywide operations conducted under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad which have reduced terrorists incidents in the country. 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.

He said that the "Khyber 4" operation, which would include the Pakistan Air Force, would focus on the border areas inside the Khyber Agency area, which is part of Fata.

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.

Alongside the border fencing, Pakistan and Afghanistan will maintain an open-door policy for cooperation and discussion on bilateral issues, particularly in order to remove what he said was "a trust deficit" on the Afghan side.

DG-ISPR Asif Ghafoor said that the military court had rejected Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav's first appeal.

The ISPR chief lamented that the Indian army has the choice of opening fire on civilian areas whereas the Pakistan Army can not do that to Kashmiris across the LoC.

Speaking on the Raymond Davis issue, he said that Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was not the only institution involved in the matter.

Answering another question, he said the matter of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was not related to the Army as it was formed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. "It is a subjudice case, and it will go to court". He added that Inter Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence (MI) officials did their work with honesty. "But Daesh is gaining strength in Afghanistan".

The spokesman said Afghan military had been informed ahead of the latest anti-ISIL operation.

Referring to the ongoing phase-1 of fencing the Pak- Afghan border, he said on average there is a fort or check post every 1.5 kilometres. Barrister Zafarullah said that numerous papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts.

He added that splinter groups of TTP adopting the bandwagon of Daesh in Pakistan are already being taken care of by the security forces.

"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.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were carried out. We fire towards bunkers where we think the firing is coming from.

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. "We try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum", he added. He said the security forces of Pakistan are very vigilant to foil enemies' designs against CPEC.

He said all state institutions are on one page when it comes to the CPEC.

At the end of his address, he 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.

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