On 1st September, 2016, Pakistan army scored another victory in the war against Terrorism. They stopped more than 300 Islamic militants from entering the state. Most of these militants belonged to Afghanistan and others were a part of small extremist groups. According to the authorities, their main targets were the foreign embassies, prominent media personnel and law enforcers. With this victory, the army officials claim that they have eradicated the threat of IS completely from Pakistan, although Inter-Services Public Relations Director General (ISPR) Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa was concerned about the IS network growing exponentially in our neighboring country. He said that
A proactive approach and the efforts of law enforcement agencies have forestalled the threat of Daesh ( an acronym used for IS that they despise) for the time being and the network has been busted. But the threat is not over yet, as their presence in neighboring Afghanistan is still [something] we are worried about
Lt Gen Bajwa briefed the media about the mission and shared the details of where and how this group was operating in Pakistan. During his presentation, the media asked him about his views regarding US Secretary of the State, John Kennedy’s recent comments in India. He responded saying that they don’t have any favorites among the terrorists and that they will go after any threat against Pakistan.
Director General ISPR also presented some facts related to the Pakistan Army’s counter-terrorism activities. He also remarked that Operation Zarb-e-Azb targeted the terrorists with discrimination. More than 3500 terrorists have been killed since the launch of this operation.
In 2014, the security environment when Operation Zarb-e-Azb started was such that the country faced various instances of terrorism,” he said. “There were 311 IED blasts, 74 attacks, and 26 suicide blasts in 2014
The head of military’s media wing said that before the launch of Zarb-e-Azb, North Waziristan was the hub of terrorism in Pakistan.
People could not imagine going to North Waziristan as it had become the epicentre of terrorism, however, the Pak Army managed to clear out the area completely after which forces moved to Khyber Agency where the terrorists had taken shelter
During the operation Zarb-e-Azb, the army seized a huge amount of ammunition from the site. Some of the figures they stated, were completely appalling.
We recovered weapons, ammunition, IEDs, explosives, communications equipment, hate literature and discovered tunnels. There was enough explosive material there to carry out five IED blasts every day for 21 years. They could have caused 134,000 casualties with the amount of material we recovered.
Lt. Gen Bajwa also mentioned the importance of rehabilitation. He said that repatriation is not the only cure to the disease of terrorism but people in the affected areas need that stability in their lives again. He did not forget to mention the sacrifices of many soldiers and military officials. More than 500 people embraced martyrdom thousands of soldiers are left with long lasting injuries. He wanted people to realize that a huge price has been paid in order to get rid of terrorism and Pakistan lost many lives during the process.
Those who point fingers at Pakistan, consider the sacrifices the nation as well as the Army has made