Saturday Feb 13, 2016
KARACHI: No terrorist organisation, including Daesh, can survive in Pakistan, and the country’s victory in the war on terror will be an example for the entire world.
This was stated by the Director-General of ISPR, Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa, while talking by phone to Shahzeb Khanzada on Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’.
Asim Saleem Bajwa said the nation need not worry. No terrorist organization, including Daesh, can survive in Pakistan. The State is strong enough to overcome any such nuisance. The Pakistani nation is a very brave nation, and what we have achieved in the war on terror so far will become an example for the entire world.
While responding to several questions, the spokesman for the military said that when Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched on 15 June 2014, it was limited to some areas. It was later felt that apart from the hideouts of the terrorists, they also have links with some other countries, and that they also have accomplices and facilitators.
A way out was found: an intelligence-based operation. This operation was to be launched collectively by the intelligence agencies and the law-enforcement agencies. After we have secured a lead through Operation Zarb-e-Azb, some links came to the fore, and we pursued them and succeeded in achieving our objectives.
Our intelligence agencies performances were excellent. They analyzed the whole network, identified the culprits and arrested them and foiled attempts by the terrorists to wreak havoc.
Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that he would like to emphasize that the series of our successes will continue. It’s an uphill task, but we will have to conquer it, and we need everyone’s cooperation in this regard.
Responding to a question, the ISPR DG said that it’s true that the terrorist networks existed in the past, and there were a number of such groups. But now the noose is tightening around the terrorists’ necks. They are being identified and as such they are getting more and more isolated. Their isolation has emboldened the people to come forward and give lead to the law-enforcement agencies about their hideouts. People want to see the terrorists brought to the book so that the scourge of terrorism is finally brought to an end.
It’s a matter of deep satisfaction that we are getting ahead satisfactorily and busting the networks of the terrorists.
Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the Army Chief had stated right at the beginning that we will have to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the country and that we will not spare any network or group of terrorists. Nobody who happened to have assisted the terrorists in whatever manner will be spared.
With regard to Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the Karachi operation, the ISPR DG said that the completion of the cycle in such operations is essential.
Commenting on the issue of the IDPs, Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that a special apex committee meeting was held in Peshawar during which the matter of how to send the IDPs back to their areas and how to rehabilitate them was discussed in detail. He said that the Army Chief has already stated that all the resources will be utilized to get the IDPs rehabilitated in their respective areas. We have a commitment with the IDPs to get them rehabilitated in the best possible manner.
He said that except one area, all the other areas have been cleared, and work is also in progress in North Waziristan. By the end of the year, all the IDPs will go back to their areas.
Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that he wants to clarify that these IDPs are not only of North Waziristan but in the plan that we have drawn it includes entire Fata. Even if a couple of people have been displaced, we have a concrete plan for their rehabilitation. We have a plan covering the entire socioeconomic sphere.
It needs funds, and the conference had emphasized on that aspect. About LeJ, Al Qaeda (Subcontinent) and TTP, Bajwa said that before the launch of Zarb-e-Azb their central leaders were across the border and now after their hideouts had been eliminated here they cannot take refuge in Pakistan. We are destroying their remaining links here and using all resources to eliminate their hideouts and training centres.
About Pak-Afghan border, he said that the entire region wants to take benefit from Zarb-e-Azb. I want to assure you about one thing that plans are being made for maintaining peace in border areas. I will share further details on this in the days to come.
Recently, there was a talk about border management. The same thing had been discussed in Kabul when the COAS visited there and also when the Afghan delegations came here.
When asked that Daesh has become very strong in Afghanistan and started challenging Taliban there while conflicting reports are coming about its presence in Pakistan as different statements come from FO and agency chief, the DG ISPR said that the militant outfit was surely an approaching challenge for the world and we had been mentioning this in the past. He said that several terrorists are claiming their affiliation with Daesh. However, he said that Pakistan has no place for any terrorist. I will give a detailed briefing to share progress in this regard soon. No militant outfit can become so strong here that the state cannot deal with it.
The DG ISPR said that Pakistan is the most relevant nation in the world today. We will emerge as an example for gaining so much in the war against terrorism.
About the Karachi Operation and prosecution flaws, Bajwa said that these terrorists have been arrested after hectic efforts and everyone wants to take them to task. They (terrorists) will surely meet their fate as we have a system for this in the country. I have hope in this system in which there is no room for terrorists.
About extension of military courts, he said that terrorists’ cases will be tried in the military courts and he will keep informed masses on their verdicts. Performance of military courts and issues in the traditional system are discussed at all forums. Every Pakistani wants that all the arrested terrorists face punishment. - Originally published in TheNews