Operation Khyber-4 successfully completed: Army

ISPR announced that 253 square kilometers have been cleared of militant presence


RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army on Monday announced the successful completion of Operation Khyber-4 in the Rajgal area of Khyber Agency. 

In a press conference, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor announced that 253 square kilometers have been cleared of militant presence. 

He added that a separate clearance operation is also underway in Khyber Valley.  

The ISPR said during the operation hundreds of landmines were defused which were planted by the militants to slow the advance of the Army and to inflict casualties on the advancing forces. 

"During the operation, 52 terrorists were killed," said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor. 

He added two soldiers were martyred and 15 were injured during the operation. 

In order to create a more permanent security presence in the volatile area, the Army has also set up 91 check posts in Rajgal valley.

Referring to other intelligence-based operations in the country, the ISPR added that 24,000 operations have been carried out in Pakistan and the operations have led to a significant decline in incidents of terror. 

"Under Operation Raddul Fasaad, 3,330 IBOs were conducted across the country out of which 1,728 were conducted in Punjab," said DG ISPR.

In Sindh, DG ISPR said 1,467 IBOs were conducted and there was one incident of terror in 2017 as compared to 57 in 2013. 

"In terms of street crimes in cities like Karachi, the situation will get better once the police force is made stronger." 

'No organised terrorist infrastructure'

During the press conference, the ISPR also showed confessions of two arrested terrorists. 

The arrested terrorists had attacked a mosque of the same sect which they belonged to and were instructed by their handlers to dress in black clothes. 

"We set the place ablaze and opened fire," said the arrested terrorist commander. 

ISPR further said the terrorists had also attacked a mosque in Rawalpindi in 2013. 

"The attack took place in Rawalpindi's Raja Bazaar in 2013." 

"These terrorists were linked with a network of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav." said Ghafoor.

He said the sectarian conflict was not started from where the enemies of the state had planned to initiate it. 

"Over the years, Pakistan Army managed to restore normalcy in war-torn areas. This includes the construction of 147 schools, 17 health units and 67 markets," said the army spokesman. 

Referring to the Temporarily Displaced People (TDPs), Ghafoor said most of the inhabitants from conflict-affected areas, 95 per cent, have been repatriated to their native areas. 

Ghafoor said that no organised infrastructure of any terrorist organisation exists in Pakistan. 

Terrorist networks in Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries should be busted in our own interest, he added.

He further said that border management on the Pak-Afghan border has been improved unilaterally by Pakistan and added that eight cross-border attacks were foiled on the night before August 14.

'No civil-military divide'

The army spokesman reiterated that no civil-military divide exists in the country and the Army is an organ of the state which is not involved in any political matters.  

"Difference of opinions can exist, but that does not mean there is a divide between the civil and military leadership."

When asked about the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), DG ISPR said the army was not associated with any political matter. 

He added that whatever political statements General (retd) Pervez Musharraf made were said by him as a politician. 

Referring to Dawn Leaks, Ghafoor said the government has the prerogative to start an inquiry in whichever case it so wishes.  

Operation Khyber-4 was launched earlier in August to stop infiltration of terrorists from across the Pak-Afghan border.