Defence

Operation Khyber-IV Successfully Completed, Announces Pak Army

The Pakistan Army announced on Monday the successful completion of Operation Khyber-IV, saying ground objectives in Rajgal and Shawal valleys had been achieved.

“Every single terrorist was on the target of security forces during the operation,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told journalists at a news conference on Monday.

Last month, army launched the major ground offensive in one of the last two remaining pockets in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan as part of Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to establish state writ in the region and also deny Da’ish any space in the country.

Two army soldiers, he added, embraced martyrdom while 15 received injuries during the operation.

“[As many as] 52 terrorists were killed during the Khyber-IV offensive, while 31 were injured. “Four militants handed themselves to the forces, he added.

“Militants tasked with inciting sectarianism were working at the behest of Indian [spy agency] RAW and [Afghan] NDS.”

“As many as 250 cross border attacks from Afghanistan have been foiled during the current year.”

Maj Gen Ghafoor also announced that the militant involved in perpetrating suicide attacks on prominent personalities, including Punjab chief minister, had been apprehended.

Some of the terrorists were affiliated with the group of [self-confessed Indian spy] Kulbhushan Jadav, he added.

“Now, there is no organised infrastructure of any terrorist organisation in the country,” the DG said. He added that 1,728 intelligence based operations were conducted in Punjab alone.

The ISPR chief said 152 landmines were dismantled during the operation. “Khyber-IV was initiated following three earlier operations in Khyber Agency.” The process of clearance is underway in the agency, he said, adding 91 check-posts have been established in Rajgal valley.

“95 per cent of the people displaced during the operation have returned home,” he maintained.

“Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were also recovered by the security forces,” he said. “One of the IED material had letters inscribed on it, suggesting it was made in India.”

Civil-military relations

Ghafoor ruled out a civil-military standoff, saying any possible difference of opinion should not be labelled as a rift between the two. “We are all one,” he remarked.

Kashmir

The DG said that India wants to label the continuing freedom movement in held Kashmir as terrorism. However, he added, resistance in the held valley was an internationally-recognised freedom movement.

Dawn leaks

According to the ISPR chief, it wa sthe prerogative of the government to open inquiry into any matter it deems fit, including Dawn leaks. He was referring to the former interior minister Nisar Ali Khan’s presser a day earlier, wherein the latter demanded making the report public.

Karachi operation

The DG claimed that only one incident of terrorism had so far taken place in Karachi in the continuing year, saying operation in the metropolis had brought significant results.