RAWALPINDI: In a major development, Pakistan army on Sunday formally announced to have launched a full scale operation 'Zarb-e-Azb’ against ‘local and foreign terrorists’ in North Waziristan Agency ‘on the directions of the government’.
Director General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a press release said: “On the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan have launched a comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists who are hiding in sanctuaries in North Wazirastan Agency.”
“The operation has been named Zarb-e-Azb.”
The DG ISPR further said that using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists had waged a war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property.
“They had also paralyzed life within the agency and had perpetually terrorized the entire peace loving and patriotic local population,” he added.
He said: “Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries.”
He said with the support of the entire nation, and in coordination with other state institutions and Law Enforcement Agencies, these enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country.
“As always, armed forces of Pakistan will not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice for the motherland.”Defence Minister says:
Defence Minister, Khwaja Asif has said that a major military operation was the need of the hour but stopped short of giving details of the operation, saying the details cannot be made public at this stage.Information Minister says:
Federal Minister for Information, Pervaiz Rashid appealed to all politicians and nation to stand united behind the government and the Armed Forces in the war against terror.AFP adds:
A military official in the main North Waziristan town of Miranshah told AFP that the coordinated operation -- involving airforce, artillery, tanks and thousands of ground troops -- has already started.
"Thousands of troops will participate in this action. You can roughly say 25,000 to 30,000 troops will be involved in the operation," the official added on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.
"We are trying to finish this operation as soon as possible but can´t give an exact time frame. It can conclude in a few days but can also take longer," he added.Overnight Airstrikes
The ISPR confirmed that over 105 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were killed in strikes
conducted at 0130 hours on Sunday.
A number of Terrorist hideouts in Degan, Datta Khel in NWA, were targeted by jet aircrafts.