RAWALPINDI–Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ (FATA) Mohmand Agency on Tuesday and vowed not to abandon the area without fully restoring it to normalcy.
The army chief was given a detailed briefing on the progress of stabilisation operations, including the ongoing development projects by army engineers in the troubled region, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.
The development projects have come after Operation Zarb-I-Azb, launched by the Pakistan Army in June 2014, left large parts of North Waziristan’s infrastructure destroyed. The military claims to have eliminated a large number of terrorists in North Waziristan, as well as Khurram Agency in continuing operations. The death toll of militants and the extent of damage inside the agencies has largely not been independently verified by media, given that access to FATA is very limited.
The COAS appreciated the professionalism, dedication and sacrifices rendered by the soldiers in fighting terrorism and bringing stability in Mohmand Agency, the press release further stated.
General Raheel emphasised on the need to follow a comprehensive and uniform rehabilitation policy across Fata after clearing it of terrorists.
He expressed hope that projects of providing education and economic opportunities to youth would help root out terrorism on long-term basis. The COAS also appreciated the tribal people for playing a significant role in expelling terrorists from their areas.
Referring to the recently launched sanitisation operations by Afghan National Army in areas bordering Mohmand and Bajaur, General Raheel expressed hope that such measures would check cross-border terrorism related incidents.