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DG ISPR Maj Gen Asim Bajwa says troops have surrounded North Waziristan, claims terrorists did not know operation was coming.—File photo
DG ISPR Maj Gen Asim Bajwa says troops have surrounded North Waziristan, claims terrorists did not know operation was coming.—File photo

ISLAMABAD: The ongoing military operation in North Waziristan is a ‘war of survival’ and will pave the way for the dawn of permanent peace in the country, the military’s spokesperson said on Thursday.

In a formal briefing to the media on Operation Zarb-i-Azb, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asim Bajwa told reporters that the operation was being carried out without any discrimination between “good or bad Taliban”.

“This is the biggest and most well-coordinated operation ever conducted against terrorists. It is the beginning of the end for terrorism in the country,” he said.

Maj Gen Bajwa said army troops, Frontier Corps personnel, Khasadars, Levies, intelligence operatives and the Pakistan Air Force were jointly conducting the operation in North Waziristan.

Maj Gen Asim Bajwa says troops have surrounded North Waziristan; claims terrorists did not know operation was coming

“We have surrounded the entire agency and sealed the 180km border with Afghanistan, as well as the boundary with South Waziristan, making it impossible for terrorists to escape,” he said.

Asked if there was a possibility that terrorist leaders had escaped to Afghanistan before the launch of the operation, the ISPR chief said it was possible a few of them had taken refuge on the Afghan side, but most of them were still in the targeted area. “The terrorists could not anticipate the launch of the operation,” he said.

“Terrorists of all kinds, involved in different activities from Fata to Karachi, are based in North Waziristan. They include local and foreign militants, including Uzbeks and Chechens. Now, it is up to them whether they surrender or fight,” he said.

He said the entire nation and the political leadership of the country were on the same page as the military on the issue of terrorism and fully supported the army in the operation.

Asked about the perception that the military once backed militants groups such as the Haqqani group and Gul Bahadur group, the ISPR spokesman said there was formerly a pact with the Gul Bahadur group, but that had since been violated and now, neither side was bound to honour the agreement.

He said that since the launch of the operation on June 15, a total of 327 terrorists had been killed and 45 of their hideouts had been destroyed.

He said 19 terrorists had surrendered to security personnel but did not reveal any details about their nationality or allegiances. Ten security personnel have laid down their lives, while seven had been injured in the line of duty, he said.

The Afghan government had been requested to take action against those terrorists who crossed over to escape operation.

Also read: Pak-Afghan accord to go after all terrorists

He denied that US drone strikes were part of the operation, adding that US had been asked to coordinate, but the operation was solely being carried out by Pakistani troops.

Control rooms had been set up with the Universal Access Number 1135 in different cities, so people could share information about any suspicious activity in their area.

Internally displaced persons

The DG ISPR told reporters that so far, nearly 36,804 families consisting of 456,292 individuals had been registered as internally displaced persons and that most of them had moved in with host families in Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Lakki Marwat. Only a few hundred opted to stay in the camps set up for IDPs, he said.

Maj Gen Bajwa said that 50 army personnel and 20 officials of the National Disaster Management Authority had been deployed to ensure the registration of all IDPs.

Related: IDPs bemoan state’s apathy, neglect

Six ration points have been established in Bannu, DI Khan and Tank for the provision of food packets and medicines to IDPs and each family was given Rs15,000 and one month’s ration by the army. Of the registered IDPs, 221,000 had been immunised against polio drops and 32 relief collection points had been set up in different cities.

The DG ISPR said the National Database Registration Authority’s mobile vans were available to check the identity of incoming IDPs at registration centres. “IDPs are also being screened so that no terrorist can escape under the guise of an IDP,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2014

Comments (35) Closed

khan Jun 27, 2014 05:49am

Good job. Wonder why the terrorists didn't know it was coming? Was it because Imran Khan wasn't able to warn them, because he didn't it either?

Sheikh Parviz Jun 27, 2014 05:50am

May Allah be with you and your brave soldiers General.

BRR Jun 27, 2014 05:52am

The same ISPR 1 year ago was singing the good-taliban / bad -Taliban story. One year from today, he might be doing the same again. Not much credibility can be attached to such statements. You got to wait and see.

Yawar Jun 27, 2014 06:00am

As TTP and their allies get more and more desperate they will try and increase their attacks on innocent civilians and will do whatever they can to hurt the economy of Pakistan. Our security forces cannot fight TTP and its allies alone. I hope the people who know about terrorists living among them have the courage and decency to come forward and provide the information to our security forces so that this menace can be rooted out once and for all.

Omar Jun 27, 2014 06:20am

The Pakistani people and the world community are with you. We need to destroy all these terrorists who and re-integrate these regions into Pakistan with full development and the rule of law. If you are involved in terrorist activities and/or support them in any way (including morally) you should be hunted down, arrested and handed justice for all the innocent men, women and children you have killed. The Pakistani people are with their government and army. We will succed!

omer khan shaheen Jun 27, 2014 06:44am

Pakistan will prevail! Insha'Allah

vik3ings Jun 27, 2014 06:51am

@khan the Chess board of politics and Loyalty is very old in Pakistan and the majority are just pawns to be sacrificed

Masood Haider Jun 27, 2014 06:55am

Finally the myopic concept of 'Strategic Depth' has been discarded. Success will not be quick but it will come just as surely as day follows night. Inshallah.

AA Jun 27, 2014 07:02am

Great! We heard many time like this statement. I hope this will last long and long till the end of all unscrupulous.

Parminder Sadeora Jun 27, 2014 07:13am

better late than never

rabira Jun 27, 2014 08:02am

Nothing can wipe the militants completely and they will come stronger than ever waste of public tax money.

Mustafa J. Jun 27, 2014 08:04am

Excellent Job! All civil and military leaders and those who carry on their orders, must be commended.

ashraf Jun 27, 2014 08:34am

It is indeed the war of survival . Pakistan can not afford to lose it. The whole nation & the international community is supporting this. This action will soon have to me complemented with two other steps:- (1) mutually acceptable agreement with Afghanistan to work together. & shun all blame games (2) a major clean up of our cities to rid us of this scourge from all of Pakistan ...without the above, the job will be only be half done & we may have a bigger mess in our hands ..

Fahd Siddiqui Jun 27, 2014 08:42am

Excellent news!

Saad Zafar Jun 27, 2014 08:55am

All's good but while you are at it, Can you recover stolen vehicles from FATA? Many of the stolen vehicles from rest of the country end up in FATA or in Afghanistan.

Also what about sleeper cells in cities like Lal Masjid who are publically supporters of terrorists, infact groomer of terrorists and deny the constitution of Pakistan?

daniel shiger Jun 27, 2014 09:14am

The best would be to keep the army operations up to army alone. There is too much info on the media before. Army must compel all the political parties to come forward and provide all help to the civillians who are disturbed and left homes in Wazirastan. those politicians who do not comply must be tried in army courts

Daanish Jun 27, 2014 09:22am

Army and isi has to reclaim their honor from shame to fame.

Hussain Jun 27, 2014 09:43am

Love you Pak army your the best.

Faisal Tanveer Jun 27, 2014 09:44am

the statement that "The Terrorists did not know operation was coming" is hard to buy: same old swat story.

Imran Jun 27, 2014 09:49am

In a Democracy does the military take action without the say so of civilian political leadership? Providing a coherent leadership is in place.

Imran Jun 27, 2014 09:54am

@Mustafa J. Commendable sentiments providing the orders originate from legitimate representatives of the people, not from usurpers or those not accountable to the people.

A Rehman Jun 27, 2014 10:06am

@BRR. Have the courage to show your name at least we all must know from where the pearls of wisdom are falling.

Riza Afghan Jun 27, 2014 10:23am

Afghanistan is changed and there is no way for Afghanistan to return back to Taliban regime. that's just a dream and Pakistani government is aware of it already.

The best solution is to create a shared group to go after terrorists.

For example: 10,000 Security Forces/Intelligence (ISI) 10,000 Security Forces/Intelligence (NDS)

Work together and all of them must get full access in Pakistan and Afghanistan to go after the targets without any restriction (of course there will be rules and laws to control this group).

That way Pakistan can easily eliminate Terrorists which are harming Pakistan in Afghanistan and Afghans can eliminate terrorists which are working against Afghan government in Pakistan. That's the fastest way to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It might not take 10-15 years, Maximum 2-3 years and there won't be a single terrorist group in both countries.

Work together or this will continue for 1000 of years.

immortal_soloist Jun 27, 2014 10:27am

May Allah give success to our brave soldiers. Inshallah we will get rid of this cancer of terrorism.

junaid Jun 27, 2014 10:40am

A melo-drama full of lies. Who were those people who crossed afghan border before operation ? Why Uzbeks were selling their households to the locals before start of military operation ? Ironically, people who sneak into karachi without being noticed and attack security points without any resistance in the begining don't know that the operation is coming.. Wow

Hikayat shah Jun 27, 2014 02:56pm

Yes All Pakistani who believe on state sovereignty. this war is for survival, there was not a 2nd choice left for the pak Army except to go after terrorist (operation) it is time for the nation to be unit be patience and support and stand with army. if it is not today, may be tomorrow never comes for A nation.

NADEEM Jun 27, 2014 03:27pm

why was not done long before,

Shehzad Zafar Jun 27, 2014 03:37pm

Zarb-i-Azb is war of survival, says ISPR chief I dont know whether its for the survival of Pakistan or Pakistan Army.

ahsan Jun 27, 2014 04:36pm

Well done. The hole nation is with you. We are ready to render any sacrifice to eliminate this self imposed clear and present danger.

N Jun 27, 2014 07:35pm

Well Done Pak Army. Entire nation is with you.

shah ali ashraf Jun 28, 2014 02:21am

We trust our army they better know how to handle and tackle this situation in operation, innocent people of pakistan should not be hurt in this battle..pak army zinda bad..pakistan payinda bad..

Nasser Jun 28, 2014 08:51pm

No transparency means anyone can say anything - thus useless info. The results are only what the nation can go by. So far army and other security agencies have been big failures. Anyhow, the terrorists will return after the army leaves.

Prashant Singh Jun 29, 2014 02:19pm

I wish Pakistan win the war of survival and march forward as a proud nation. Learn from mistakes and be good. And yeah there are Hijbul Mujahidin and Lashkar e Toiba as well.. What about them?

Khalid Jun 29, 2014 04:03pm

"Good news" Inshallah these "good for nothing terrorists" will have no where to go and the "very best of treatment will be mted out t them by our brave Jawans from the Pak Army" Lets pray that these terrorists become "history" Inshallah. Pakistan Zindabad.

S.P.Das Jun 29, 2014 10:20pm

A strong, stable, prosperous and democratic Pakistan is in India's interest. India wishes all success of The Pakistani Army to save Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism which poses a serious threat to its survival.