Massive offensive launched against terrorists in Rajgal

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RAWALPINDI, July 16 (APP): Pakistan Army with the support
of Pakistan Air Force on early Sunday launched massive operation
(Khyber-4) against the terrorists, hiding in the most difficult
hilly terrain of Rajgal Valley in Khyber Agency, Director General
Inter Services Public Relations (DGISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor
said.
Addressing a press conference here, the DG ISPR said the
operation in Rajgal Valley, a part of the Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA), was in sequel to the on-going Operation
Radd-ul-Fasaad (RUF), meant to clear the small and big pockets
where the terrorists of various banned outfits had been hiding.
Besides, he said Khyber-4 was also aimed to check the
terrorist activities in a neighbouring country where DAESH
had already maintained its strongholds to carry out terrorist
activities from across the border.
He said Rajgal, spreading over about 250 sq km area and
has about 8 peaks, ranging from 12000 feet to 14000 feet, can
be called as most difficult terrain.
He hinted that another similar chunk called Shawal where
concentration of terrorists was also reported, would be another
target of the operation in the upcoming days.
About the Khyber-4 operation, Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor said
that the security forces, first of all, would secure the
adjoining International Border of Rajgal with Afghanistan
and then the rest of area, encircled already, would be
cleared.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said that there was no existence
of Daesh in Pakistan but some splinter groups had been making
efforts to get into communication with them.
He said about 500 native families of Rajgal had been living
in other areas as Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) due to
the presence of the terrorists.
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.
He said the Resolute Support Forces in Afghanistan and
Afghan authorities had already been informed about the launch
of military campaign in Rajgal, with the aim that no terrorist
should flee from here to take refuge in the neighbouring
country.
Highlighting the role of Pakistan Army in restoring writ
of the state, he quoted Chief of Army Staff General Qamar
Javed Bajwa as saying “We are building peace in our country
brick by brick; moving from relative stability towards an
enduring peace.”
Giving details about the anti-terror operations, launched
during the past 14 years, he said a lot of efforts were carried
out to restore the writ of the state by rendering a number of
sacrifices to achieve the goal.
He said operation RUF, launched on February 22 this year
with the aim to clear the pockets and signatures of the
terrorists inclusive of the abettors, financiers and facilitators
to achieve enduring peace.
Till date, he said over 46 major operations and 9,000
Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) had been carried out since
the launch of operation RUF across the country. 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.
About the law and order situation in Karachi he said 98 %
reduction in terrorists activities had been achieved as compared
to figures for 2013. He said during 2013-14 about 57 to 66 terrorist incidents were reported and in 2017 only one such incident took
place, showing 98 % decline.
In 2013 some 965 cases of target killing were reported and
during the current year these were 28 with decline to 97 %.
Cases of extortion during 2013 were 1524 and this year these
are 56 showing decline of 96 %.
Similarly, in 2013 the cases of kidnapping were 174 and this
year these are 6 showing decline of 96 %. He said a considerable
decline was also registered in cases of street crime and efforts
were at hand to check this trend effectively.
Referring to the recently held Apex Committee meeting in
Karachi, he said the forum had decided to review and implement
all the decisions taken by it earlier. This decision of the
forum would help in bearing fruitful results as far as
improvement in the law and order situation of the province
was concerned.
In Sindh, he said that total 522 terrorists had voluntarily
surrendered before the security forces while other 15 were
killed during various operations.
In Punjab, the DG ISPR said Punjab Rangers with the support
of Counter Terrorism Department had carried out 6 major operations
while about 7000 IBOs were undertaken. During these operations 22
terrorists were killed in crossfire.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were
carried out.
He said the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) showed
extraordinary trends recently, following the hot political
situation inside India. The Indian troops in line to defuse
their own frustrations had been targeting the civil population
along the LOC which ultimately caused a high number of causalities
of the civil population, settled along the LOC.
He said Pakistan forces had been exercising restraint but
whenever reacted it was in retaliation to the unprovoked firing
whereby directly engaging the Indian posts from where the fire
was being originated.
“We had already shared a few video footages of engaging the
Indian forces’ posts with the media,” Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor
said.
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. Therefore, he said the Pakistan authorities
had offered all types of assistance and support.
“The things are improving and we hope that these will
further improve in the days to come,” he said.
Referring to the fencing of International border along
Afghanistan, he said work on the most sensitive portion had
already been started and first phase of it would be completed
in the due course.
He said the entire border will be fenced and it would be
kept under electronic and manual vigil permanently by constructing
forts and posts after every 1.5 km distance.
He clarified that carrying out joint operations by the
security forces was meant to undertake offensive against the
terrorists within their respective territorial jurisdictions
by sharing intelligence reports with each other and sealing the
border so that to check infiltration of terrorists from and to
either side.
He said Pakistan’s security forces had always been carrying
out anti-terrorists operations solely on the country’s land and
no foreign boots were ever allowed to take part in such
military campaigns.
Answering a question about the case of Indian Naval Agent
Kubhushan Jhadev, the DG ISPR said, the agent was given time
to appeal before the appellate Military Court and after
rejection from there the culprit had appealed before the
Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The COAS, he said had been
provided all the evidences and proofs against the Agent
and he will take decision based on the facts and evidences.
Giving details about the performance of the Military
Courts, he said total 274 terrorists were tried and of
them 161 were awarded death penalty. Out of the total,
53 executions had been carried out while 40 of them
were undertaken during the on-going operation RUF.
He said the cases of those 17 terrorists rounded
up from Parachinar would be tried in the Military Courts
on priority basis.
About the National Census, the DG ISPR said that all
the data compiled during the demographic process had
been escorted to the Pakistan Bureau of Statics (PSB)
where the work had begun to give it final shape.
When his attention was drawn towards the Bill adopted
by the US Lower House, he said this Bill had to take a
long path for final adoption. Referring to the recent
visit of US Senators representing Defence Committee, he
said that they were taken to the areas where the state
had regained her writ by eliminating terror and they
had expressed appreciations of the role of Pakistan’s
military.
On the book by Raymond Davis, he told a questioner that
there was a need to see that Raymond had been claimant of
Diplomatic Immunity before leaving Pakistan but he wrote
a book as a private contractor.
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.
About Ehsan Ullah Ehsan a leader of TTP, he apprised a
questioner that he would be tried in the court of law
according the state laws.