RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army launched a major operation in the Rajgal valley of Khyber Agency, code named Khyber-IV.
“The armed forces have launched a major offensive in the Rajgal valley as part of the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told journalists.
According to the DG, the operation is being launched to counter Daesh, which is gaining presence close to Afghan border. “Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will also take part in the operation.”
Maj Gen Ghafoor reiterated that the purpose of fencing [along the Afghan border] was aimed at better border management. “It is not possible for any foreign forces to set foot on Pakistani soil.” He added that the Shawal area will also be cleared from terrorists soon.
The incidents of terrorism are decreasing, he said, with the the writ of the government being established. “Terrorists are now aiming for soft targets.”
The serving Indian naval officer, who was arrested on March 3 last year during an operation in Mashkel area of Balochistan, had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court, which was rejected.
Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mercy plea: To a question, the spokesperson said the mercy petition of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav, who was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorist activities in April this year, was pending before the Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The COAS, he said, would take the decision based on facts and is looking into the proceedings of the trial against him. The DG added that Jhadav’s appeal had already been rejected by the military’s appellate court.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year during a counter-intelligence operation from the Mashkel area of Balochistan. A few weeks later, the army had released his recorded confessional statement in which he had admitted to have been working for RAW to stoke unrest and instability in Pakistan.
Karachi operation: The DG said there had been a 98 per cent decrease in terror incidents in Karachi.
Earlier this month, the DG said Daesh was gaining strength in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan because of the absence of Afghan troops along the border, adding that militants from across the border were trying to create sectarian faultlines in Pakistan.
Operations Khyber I, II and III were launched in Khyber Agency during 2014-16. Most terrorist-infested regions of the agency – including the strategic Tirah Valley – were cleansed in the previous operations.
Situation on LoC: Maj Gen Ghafoor said India is continuously targeting civilian population along the Line of Control (LoC) while the Pakistani forces only target Indian posts in retaliation.
The indigenous movement in Kashmir, meanwhile, is gaining strength which is a reason India has heightened tensions on the LoC, he added.
Panamagate JIT: While responding to several questions relating to the Panamagate JIT’s report, the DG denied that the Army had any direct involvement in the probe, saying representatives of ISI and MI were part of the probing team constituted by the top court.
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