25 (APP): The security forces have regained the control of Leosam, a stronghold
of militants in Bajaur Agency, some 12 kilometer from Afghan border and blocked
all movement of the militants in the Agency. Inspector
General Frontier Corps Major General Tariq Khan told media team visiting Bajaur
Agency Saturday that after stiff resistance, the security forces have retaken
Leosam, a strategically important area, providing access to all four tehsils of
Bajaur including Salarzai, Charmang, Mamund and Nawagai.
taking control of Leosam, we have succeeded in blocking all movements of
militants in the area and now we are heading towards Nawagai, where, the
operation would be launched if the militants offer resistance,” said the top
official of the Frontier Corps.
forces started the operation on September 8 from Khar to secure area uptill
Loesam. As many as 73 soldiers embraced shahadat and 239 were wounded.
Reportedly about 1500 foreign and local militants have been killed including
some important commanders.
sustainable efforts are needed to maintain peace in the area, adding that locals
are supporting the security forces against militants and are yearning to see the
return of peace in the area.
feel supported by people of Pakistan,” said Major General Tariq Khan in the
detailed presentation to newsmen on the situation in the area at Bajaur Scouts
Camp which followed the visit to the forward area of Leosam and Tan Khata.
He said the
government has evidence of the involvement of foreign hands as 300 foreign
militants mainly from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have been arrested.
spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas, who also accompanied the media team,
said before the start of the operation by security forces, Bajaur Agency was in
a state of lawlessness. Militants were constantly attacking security forces’
checkposts and had closed all roads for movement of Government/FC convoys.
pickets in the Agency had been demolished by the militants and a parallel system
of administration in Tehsil Mamund, Charmang and Salarzai had been established.
Militants had taken control of schools in the Agency and had converted them into
their centers. They had also established courts in which they use to award
severe and capital punishments of beheading and killing of personnel in public,”
spokesperson said the militants in these areas were granting licenses for
business and imposing taxes on people and transport.
during first eight months in 2008, they had killed as many as twelve Maliks,
dozens of security personnel and also kidnapped many for ransom.
backdrop, he said, the security forces started operation codenamed “Sherdil” in
Bajaur Agency to clear the area of the miscreants.
during last one and a half month, the security forces faced heavy resistance
primarily as militants had support from across the border and due to involvement
of foreign elements.
was being used as a safe haven by foreign fighters, the militants had developed
a strong trench and tunnel system of defence in populated areas like Loesam
which also became a stronghold of resistance,” said the spokesman.
withdrawal of security forces from these areas, he said it is possible after
restoration of peace establishment of government’s writ and reconstruction of
these areas. He said after the withdrawal of security forces, Lashkars,
consisting local volunteers, would replace them to maintain peace in the area.