Pak Army launches Operation Khyber-IV in Rajgal Valley

Alicia Cross
July 17, 2017

Pakistan Army has launched a major operation in its volatile tribal areas to stop the Islamic State making inroads into areas bordering Afghanistan, the military's spokesman said on Sunday.

DG-ISPR Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Army is a part of Pakistan and is working for the country's defence and everyone should respect the constitution.

A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, saying that they hope to unilaterally secure the global border, eliminate hideouts and complete the state's complete physical hold on Khyber Agency in the operation.

He also said that 22 terrorists were killed in Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in Punjab.

Referring to the fencing of global 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. "An operation to wipe out terrorists has been launched in Rajgal valley in Khyber Agency.".

"If the Afghan army were as capable as the Pakistan Army, then maybe the issue [of terrorism] would be resolved sooner", Ghafoor said.

Talking about the situation on the Line of Control, he said so far 580 ceasefire violations have occurred this year - the highest in any year.

Last month, Pakistani army chief had called for a greater border coordination and security cooperation with Afghanistan to contain the brewing threat of ISIL.

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The ISPR chief lamented that the Indian army has the choice of opening fire on civilian areas whereas the Pakistan Army can not do that to Kashmiris across the LoC.

Answering another question, he said the matter of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was not related to the Army as it was formed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. "It is a sub-judice case and will go to court", he said. Two of its members belong to the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence. The military spokesman said the operation will help prevent other militant groups from supporting Daesh and secure areas bordering Afghanistan.

It seemed that many of questions were fed to JIT by someone, he said.

"As many as 56 major operations including the Mastung operation and over 9,000 intelligence based operations were launched while over 1,500 joint check-posts were established across Pakistan", he said.

Referring to the ongoing phase-1 of fencing the Pak- Afghan border, he said on average there is a fort or check post every 1.5 kilometres. "We try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum", he added.

"In the coming days, we are hopeful the Karachi situation will see more improvement", Ghafoor said. He said Pakistan believes in an open door policy with Afghanistan.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were carried out.

He termed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as "very critical for the progress of Pakistan" and said the armed forces would give complete security and will not let it fail at any cost. "There is no direct army involvement in the JIT" he asserted, adding that the "Pakistan Army will continue playing its role for the security of Pakistan with other institutions".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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