After victorious year, Zarb-e-Azb in final phase now

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  • PM, defence minister congratulates nation, Pak Army on completion of first year of Zarb-e-Azb
  • ISPR DG says 90pc terrorists wiped out from Waziristan, indiscriminate action taken against terrorists
  • Analysts cite unprecedented gains against terrorism in Operation Zarb-e-Azb

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday congratulated the nation particularly the Pakistan Army on completion of one year of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism.

According to a PM House statement, the prime minister said Zarb-e-Azb was the manifestation of the resolve to root-out terrorism from the country. He said the whole nation was thankful to the mothers, sisters and wives who had sacrificed their sons, brothers and spouses respectively to purge the country of terrorism, and also prayed for them.

“The nation will remember their sacrifices forever due to which Pakistan was successfully eliminating terrorism and heading towards progress,” the prime minister commented. He said those who were fighting on this dangerous front were sacrificing their present for better future of the nation and on the day, the whole nation expressed solidarity with them.

Moreover, a year after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Sunday that the military offensive has entered its final phase.

In a statement issued from the capital on Sunday, the minister said the entire nation is indebted to the martyrs of the armed forces, adding the sacrifice of their families is unprecedented.

“We pay them great respect for sacrificing their today for the nations’ tomorrow,” he added.

Earlier on Saturday, the military said that it had killed 2,763 militants since the launch of the offensive a year ago, with the latest air strikes leaving 20 dead.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched on June 15 last year following a brazen attack on Karachi airport, signalling the collapse of the government’s peace talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Some 837 hideouts of terrorists have been destroyed and 253 tonnes of explosives recovered so far during the operation, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa announced on the micro-blogging website Twitter on Saturday. He said that that the military operation has cleared up to 90 percent of Khyber Agency and Waziristan.

ANALYSIS:

Meanwhile, prominent defence analysts have said that the country has made unprecedented gains against terrorism as a result of operation Zarb-e-Azb within the last one year.

Speaking in a programme of News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan on Sunday, defence analyst and former ISPR director general Maj Gen (r) Athar Abbas said most strongholds and hideouts of terrorists in North Waziristan have been eliminated. He added that this has enabled the security forces to carry out intelligence based operations against terrorists in various parts of the country.

Abbas said Pakistan’s successes in wiping out terrorists have been appreciated at regional and international level.

Another prominent defence analyst, Muhammad Khan, appreciated Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif’s statement that army is ready to pay any price to protect Pakistan, safeguard its interest in Kashmir, provide the security for development of the new ports and the exploitation of natural resources.

Khan added that now that the terrorists’ network has been destroyed in North Waziristan, they are carrying out isolated terrorist activities in frustration.



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