Operation 'Khyber 4' starts against terrorists in Rajgal Valley: DG ISPR

Pakistan Army firing NASR missile July 2017

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Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor Bajwa has said on Sunday that Pakistan Army does not have a direct relation with Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Military spokesman Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor said Islamic State - also known as Daesh - was growing in strength inside Afghanistan, prompting Pakistan to launch an operation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

He said Pakistan has also made a decision to fence its entire border with Afghanistan and first phase of fencing is underway.

He said Pakistan's security forces had always been carrying out anti-terrorists operations exclusively on the country's land and no foreign boots were ever allowed to take part in such military campaigns.

He also said that 22 terrorists were killed in Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in Punjab.

"The DG ISPR said one division troops with support of Pakistan Air Force are taking part in the operation".

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

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.

DG-ISPR Asif Ghafoor said that the military court had rejected Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav's first appeal.

"We are working brick by brick to bring normalcy back to Pakistan with the support and in support of other institutions", he said.

Pakistan says it had launched a new military operation to combat militants, including Daesh, near its Afghan border, an area surrounded by mountains reaching up to 14,000 feet.

"Every person has freedom of opinion", said the military spokesman, in a response to queries about speculation regarding the army's involvement in Joint Investigation Team (JIT). Two of its members belong to the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence.

Addressing a media conference, the ISPR DG said that the operation aims to secure the worldwide border with Afghanistan by preventing the Daesh and other local militants on Afghan side of the border from infiltration.

To a question, the ISPR chief said there is no timeline for the operation as yet.

"In Pakistan, the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has shown an alliance with Daesh".

Since the launch of Operation RuF, the army has launched 46 major operations in the country and over 9,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs). Commenting on security situation in Karachi, he said incidents of terrorism have declined by 98 percent.

"The things are improving and we hope that these will further improve in the days to come", he said.

Referring to the ongoing phase-1 of fencing at the Pak-Afghan border, he said on average there is a fort or check post every 1.5 kilometres. "We try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum", he added. "We will be able to check cross-border movement of terrorists, and our coordination with Afghanistan in this regard is already underway", he said.

He termed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as "very critical for the progress of Pakistan" and said the armed forces would give complete security and will not let it fail at any cost.

At the end of his address, he relayed a message from the army chief: "We are building peace in our country, brick by brick, moving from relative stability towards enduring peace".

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