RAWALPINDI: The Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has given the go-ahead for the initiation of the final phase of operation Zarb-i-Azab in the Shawal valley region of North Waziristan.

The go-ahead was given by the army chief during his visit to forward positions of the army in Shawal valley.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that the army chief was briefed regarding operational gains and impending operations.

The deep and forested ravines of Shawal valley and the area of Data Khel are frequently used infiltration routes used by the militants, the army chief was told.

The last phase of the operation aims to clear the last remnants of the militants from their hideouts in the forested ravines, isolate them and destroy them in detail, while also severing their links to their abettors across the country.

General Raheel Sharif expressed complete satisfaction over the gains and the effects of the operations and acknowledged the resolve of the army troops to fully eliminate the militants.

“The sacrifices of the soldiers will not go to waste and we will achieve our ultimate objective of a terror free Pakistan,” said Sharif while addressing the troops.

ISPR added that the troops have regrouped, reinforced and have moved to jump-off positions for the final phase.

The chief of army staff was received by Lieutenant General Hidayat Ur Rehman, Commander 11 Corps Peshawar on his arrival.

Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched in North Waziristan on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

The number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 per cent, due to a combination of the military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy.

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