3500 militants killed, 490 troops martyred

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2 years of Zarb-e-Azb operation

Sophia Siddiqui

Rawalpindi—Listing major achievements on completion of two years of operation Zarb-e-Azb, Inter Services Public Relations Director General Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa said 3500 militants have so far been killed in the operation while 490 soldiers also embraced martyrdom during this period.
Addressing a news conference here he however, emphasized that the job is not yet finished and that there was work still left to do including improving the border management mechanism with Afghanistan as well as clearing restive pockets in areas of Swat.
Bajwa said some 3,600 square kilometers were cleared initially in the operation, which has gone up 4,304 sq km in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and North Waziristan, adding that 992 hideouts have been destroyed thus far. 19,000 intelligence based operations were carried out all over the country which led to dismantling of terrorist networks and destruction of their hideouts. He said there were many no go areas, which have also been cleared.
Asim Saleem Bajwa said forces recovered “modern weapons” from militants, which he claimed had been stolen from US troops.
He also revealed the challenges faced in the field, such as the dense forest and the unprecedented height of the Shawal valley and Dattakhel.
“Tribes have been rid of terrorists forever from here, after much difficulty and sacrifices from both locals and the armed forces alike,” he said
He said a border management mechanism is being developed under which FC and Para-Military forces would be raised to strengthen crossing points. He said there are eight established crossing points on Pak-Afghan border besides numerous informal points. He said construction of gates and fencing is part of the border management to ensure that no one enters the country without proper documents.
He said our intelligence agencies are fully alive to the designs and activities of hostile agencies and would foil their plans.
On law and order situation of Karachi, Bajwa said, about 1,200 terrorists have been arrested from Karachi, which reflects on the improved security situation of the metropolis.
Answering a question regarding the recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav, an Indian Navy commander and agent of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Bajwa said, This is the first time since World War II that a serving officer of another country has been caught. Pak Army caught RAW and Afghan agents from tribal regions also.
Talking about drone attacks in Pakistan, Bajwa said that drone strikes will never be acceptable to Pakistan. Drone strikes are an infringement of our sovereignty, he added.

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