Pakistan Army launches Khyber-4 operation

Military spokesman brushes aside loaded questions

Daesh's presence across the border is increasing, "necessitating this operation to eliminate influence of Daesh being exported to Pakistan through Rajgal valley", he said, according to the Dawn news agency.

Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, an army spokesman, says an infantry division backed by air force and artillery will clear the Rajgal Valley in the Khyber tribal region. "Daesh as an organization does not exist, but if splinter groups of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other terror groups try to jump on the Daesh bandwagon, we are already taking care of them through other means, like in the Khyber-4 operation", he said.

The army spokesperson also gave a country-wide breakdown of the operations taken as part of Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Referring to the fencing of worldwide 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. Some 46 major operations have been launched under Radd-ul-Fasaad so far, Ghafoor noted, and more than 1,760 joint checkposts established in coordination with police and other law enforcement agencies.

Ghafoor said that "There is a blame game as to why the Haqqani network is here", and said his country fought against all terrorists.

Speaking on the Line of Control violations being carried out by India, he said that the South Asian country targets civilian population.

"He said Pakistan and Afghanistan will maintain an open-door policy for cooperation and discussion on bilateral issues to remove" a trust deficit" on the Afghan side.




To a question, he said the Chief of Army Staff General Qammar Javed Bajwa will take a final decision on the mercy plea of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the earliest.

"We are working brick by brick to bring normalcy back to Pakistan with the support and in support of other institutions", he said.

Northwestern Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun lands are awash with weapons and the area remains the most volatile region in the country despite the military's success in driving out many Al-Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban militants. "It is a subjudice case, and it will go to court".

Pakistan Army on Sunday said it had no "direct" involvement in the ongoing investigation by a Supreme Court-sanctioned joint investigation team (JIT) into business dealings of the ruling Sharif family through offshore concerns. However, the investigation team had two members of Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they honestly shoulder their duties. "Here, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has pledged allegiance to Daesh".

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. We fire towards bunkers where we think the firing is coming from. Barrister Zafarullah said that numerous papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts.

The spokesman said Afghan military had been informed ahead of the latest anti-ISIL operation. Thirteen major operations and over 800 IBOs were conducted in Balochistan.

At the end of his press conference, the ISPR chief relayed a message from the army chief: "We are building peace in our country, brick by brick, moving from relative stability towards enduring peace. For this, the army should continue to perform its role with support of all other state institutions".

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