Pakistan launches military operation against militants in tribal area

The volatile tribal areas along the Afghan border have often posed security problems for Pakistan. AGENCIES

He said that Pakistan Army is a part of Pakistan and is working for the country's defence.

The operation, Khybar-4, will cover about 250 square kilometers in which pro-Daesh groups like Jamaatul Ahrar and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, as well as the Pakistani Taliban, have become entrenched.

He termed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as "very critical for the progress of Pakistan" and said the armed forces would give complete security and will not let it fail at any cost.

There has been a significant decrease in the crime rate in Karachi, with a 98 percent overall decrease in the incidents of terrorism, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told journalists on Sunday evening.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Sunday announced the launch of Operation Khyber-4 under Radd-ul-Fasaad (RuF) to "wipe out terrorists" in the Rajgal Valley area of Khyber Agency.

Ghafoor rejected the notion that Daesh has any organized presence in Pakistan, however. He said Pakistan had informed the Afghan authorities and urged them to take similar measures on its side of the border. "In Afghanistan, yes, it is getting stronger, but we don't believe it is the same as the Daesh in the Middle East", he elaborated.

He added that splinter groups of TTP adopting the bandwagon of Daesh in Pakistan are already being taken care of by the security forces. "The militant organisation's influence is growing on other side of the border", he added. He said around 1760 joint check-posts were erected with the help of police and other law enforcement agencies to keep vigil on the movement of terrorists in various parts of the country.

On June 4, Pakistan security forces had claimed killing over a dozen suspected ISIL fighters during a security operation in southwestern Balochistan province that was aimed at recovering a Chinese couple kidnapped by the terror group in May last. DG-ISPR Ghafoor said that terrorists are targeting easy targets.

He also said that 22 terrorists were killed in Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in Punjab.

Islamic State has had more success in neighbouring Afghanistan, where it controls small chunks of land, but has also faced tough resistance from the US-backed government in Kabul and local Afghan Taliban militants.

Talking about the military courts, he said at present 40 cases are under process.

The situation along the Line of Control (LoC) has been "especially tense", Ghafoor said, with 580 ceasefire violations in this year alone.

Replying to a question on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's case, DG ISPR said the army chief is reviewing the proceedings of the case and will take a decision on Jadhav's mercy appeal on merit.

He said on the ground Pakistan Army would be carrying out operation while the support of PAF would be sought on as and when required basis.

The DG ISPR read out a message from Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa during the press conference: "We are building peace in our country brick by brick and moving from relative stability towards enduring peace".

To a question, the DG said Raymond Davis has written his book as contractor and such books have their own agendas, which could be exposed later on.

"For this, the army should continue to perform its role with support of all other state institutions".

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