Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asim Bajwa on Wednesday said that although the attention of the armed forces was divided due to aggression by Indian officials on the country’s eastern front, the military could seemly response.
Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Bajwa said that in spite of stress on the Indo-Pak border, the deployment of troops in Fata would not be cut short.
The army spokesman said more than 1,100 militants were shot dead during Zarb-i-Azb and 44 others during Khyber-I operation. However, he rejected to give a timeframe for the conclusion of the operations underway in North Waziristan and Khyber, saying these would continue in the two tribal regions until the areas were declared.
He did not indicate when the internally displaced persons (IDPs) could go back to North Waziristan and Khyber and said, “We are conducting a deliberate and sure-footed operation; whenever an area is cleared, the next step is to consolidate it and hand over its control to the political administration,”
Even Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif had expressed the desire to send the IDPs back to their homes as soon as possible but these people need to be sent back to a better area,” Bajwa said adding that, “We have a plan in place for this purpose and there is a sequence to follow.”
“We have special Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) units to get rid of the recovered explosives and those explosives which cannot be disarmed are discarded via a controlled explosion,” said the army spokesperson.
“We are trying to share maximum information with the people but there is a lot of information that we have retrieved from the arrested suspects which cannot be disclosed. The militants who were killed and arrested included people of various nationalities.”
He further said that round about 2,500 raids had been carried out across the country with the cooperation of intelligence agencies during the Zarb-i-Azb, Khyber – I and Karachi operations.
Briefing Zarb-i-Azb, Bajwa said that the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan, the NATO as well as the Afghan government had been taken into confidence before the commence of the operation.
He said that Afghanistan had been informed and cooperation was sought before launching of Zarb-i-Azb but the Afghan side didn’t show the sort of support as expected.
The spokesman claimed that outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership was present in Afghanistan from where it was executing.
“These militants had fled to Afghanistan during Zarb-i-Azb but we will apprehend them,” he said.
Giving details about Khyber-I operation, he said “numbers of militant hideouts have been destroyed…44 terrorists were killed and 100 terrorists arrested during the operation”.
Crime rate in Peshawar has declined in the wake of the Khyber-I operation, Bajwa claimed.
Responding to a question about claims made by a militant organization that they had entered a deal with authorities, Bajwa said the use of Pakistani soil for any mischievous activity would not be tolerated under any situations.