ISLAMABAD - Issuing a warning to the militants fighting the security forces in the north-western tribal region, Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif on Saturday reiterated to pay them in the same coin.
“The terrorist attacks will not be tolerated and will be responded effectively,” said Chief of Army General (COAS) General Raheel Sharif in an official statement following his visit to the X1 Corps and its division headquarters in Peshawar. Sharif also reiterated full support to the government-led ongoing peace process, the statement said.
His views and visit came after a targeted military offensive Pakistan Army and its paramilitary wing, Frontier Corps (FC), launched in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in response to a deadly attack on a military picket that left at least five soldiers dead on Wednesday.
Since then, the violent skirmishes between the military and the militants have left dozens of miscreants dead and several injured.
According to an intelligence source, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Infantry Division NWA Maj-Gen Ali Abbas Haider, Inspector General FC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood and Corps Commander Peshawar Lt-Gen Khalid Rabbani briefed the army chief on progress regarding the ongoing crackdown in Mir Ali and parts of Miranshah. The military chief also reportedly visited 7 Infantry Division and the FC headquarters in Peshawar.
Presently, he said, the targeted crackdown was restricted to Mir Ali and Miranshah towns where displacement of the civilian population is going on. “There is no military activity in Razmak. If required, the reinforcements would be dispatched there,” the official said.
He said a fierce gun battle between the security forces and militants took place on Friday evening when the military and political administration relaxed the curfew restrictions. This allowed the free movement of militants in the garb of the civilians who were moving to Bannu that turned the situation extremely deadly, he added.
Following this situation, the insider said curfew was again imposed on Friday night for three days whereas residents in a large number from Mir Ali and Miranshah towns of NWA have taken refuge in Bannu.
He laid a floral wreath on the Martyrs’ Monument at the Peshawar Corps to paid tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the defence of the motherland, the army media release said.