Pakistan Army has cleared around 640 sq km area including all the peaks over 9,000 feet in Shawal, North Waziristan Agency (NWA) from the terrorists during the last two months.
“Since the launch of the last phase in February 2016, Army troops have been fighting valiantly and have cleared 640 sq km in Shawal valley,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement Sunday.
The main terrorist hubs of the areas including Mana, Gurbaz, Lataka, Inzarkas and Magrotai have been cleared of terrorists while the battle to clear the last pocket close to the Pakistan-Afghan border is underway.
Since the start of operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014, security forces have cleared 4,304 sq km of area in North Waziristan Agency and restored the writ of the government in all areas especially in the remote pockets of FATA.
The ongoing operation is being conducted in extremely hostile terrain and harsh weather conditions. “Alhamdolillah, all heights over 9,000 feet have been cleared, terrorists strongholds have been destroyed and huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered.”
There was virtually no communication infrastructure which existed in Shawal area when the operation was launched in February this year. Up on the most treacherous terrain, Army troops have completed 150 km of tracks. Shawal heights are fully covered with snow, and visibility is very poor on and inside the mountains.
During the last phase of the operation in Shawal, 252 terrorists have been killed while reportedly 160 others have been severely injured. In the last two months, eight soldiers of Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom while fighting valiantly, 39 others were injured.
Temporarily displaced persons have started returning to the area. In North Wazirastan Agency 37,012 families, which is 36% of the total number, have so far returned to their homes.
As many as 94 development projects of various natures have been completed in Phase 1 and 2 in NWA while 153 projects are underway in Phase-3.
The progress of infrastructure projects in the North and South Waziristan agencies was reviewed by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at a meeting held on Saturday. He expressed satisfaction on the progress of the projects.
Military operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched in North Waziristan nearly two years ago after a brazen militant attack on Karachi’s international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan negotiators.
The number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 per cent, due to a combination of the military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy, recent reports have revealed.