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Pakistan targets ISIL in operation along Afghan border

17 July 2017

Pakistan Army on Sunday announced that it has launched Khyber-4 operation against terrorists, Samaa reported.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor rejected claims that Daesh ─ or the militant Islamic State (IS) group ─ has any organised infrastructure in Pakistan.

He says Pakistan has informed Afghan authorities and urged them to take similar measures on their side of the border.

He told that Operation Khyber IV is a part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, and terrorist activities in Pakistan have been reduced significantly.

He said the "Khyber 4" operation, backed by the air force, would focus on the mountainous Rajgal Valley area in Khyber Agency. He also couldn't resist a minor dig at Pakistan's troubled neighbor: "If the Afghan army were as capable as the Pakistan Army, then maybe the issue [of terrorism] would be resolved sooner", Ghafoor said.

Speaking on the Line of Control violations being carried out by India, he said that the South Asian country targets civilian population.

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He said on the ground Pakistan Army would be carrying out operation while the support of PAF would be sought on as and when required basis.

Replying to a question on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's case, DG ISPR said the army chief is reviewing the proceedings of the case and will take a decision on Jadhav's mercy appeal on merit.

The DG ISPR read out a message from Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa during the press conference: "We are building peace in our country brick by brick and moving from relative stability towards enduring peace".

The ISI was not the only institute involved in the Raymond Davis affair, he said when asked to comment on the Central Intelligence Agency contractor's book wherein he states former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Shuja Pasha orchestrated his release from jail.

He said that Pakistan Army is a part of Pakistan and is working for the country's defence.

All eyes are fixed on the apex court as the future course of the case is likely to be determined today.

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DG ISPR said that Pakistan Army is not directly linked with joint investigation team (JIT). However, the investigation team had two members of Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they honestly shoulder their duties.

He added that splinter groups of TTP adopting the bandwagon of Daesh in Pakistan are already being taken care of by the security forces.

It seemed that many of questions were fed to JIT by someone, he said.

Till date, he said over 46 major operations and 9,000 Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) had been carried out since the launch of operation RUF across the country.

It will be physically and technically monitored, with either forts or a checkpost every 1.5 kilometres, he said. Barrister Zafarullah said that numerous papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts.

As far as the situation within Afghanistan was concerned, he said that it was a well known fact that the security forces of brotherly and friendly nation were unable to tackle their internal situations. Thirteen major operations and over 800 IBOs were conducted in Balochistan.

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"The things are improving and we hope that these will further improve in the days to come", he said. "We try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum", he added. He said the security forces of Pakistan are very vigilant to foil enemies' designs against CPEC. "For this, army shall continue to perform its role in and with support of all other state institutions".

Pakistan targets ISIL in operation along Afghan border