ISLAMABAD: Ruling out any discrimination in operation against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan on Tuesday made it clear that it will never allow anyone to use its territory against any other country.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Abdul Qadir Baloch said this during a joint press briefing along with Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, held for foreign media on ongoing military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ here.
The Minister for SAFRON said that anybody involved in terrorist activities will be eliminated irrespective of the fact to which group he belonged.
He said Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan have given supreme sacrifices for the country by leaving their homes and they are our national heros.
He thanked Pakistan Army for providing support to the civilian administration to cope with the IDPs crisis.
Director General, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Asim Bajwa said that Pakistan Army will eliminate Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah whenever he comes to Pakistan.
He asked the Afghan government to play its role and either eliminate Mullah Fazlullah or extradite him to Pakistan.
Maj. Gen. Bajwa said that terrorists of all hues and colors were being killed in the operation.
To a question, he said that it was totally Pakistan’s own operation and Pakistan only requested Afghanistan and ISAF for sealing of the border so that the terrorists could not hide across Durand line.
The DG ISPR made it clear that drone attacks were not part of the plan as Pakistan was using its own air force very effectively and with precision.
He said that Pakistan had the estimated figure of terrorists in North Waziristan and not a single terrorist would be spared by the time of the completion of the operation.
About the success of the operation, he said that the target was to re- establish writ of the state in the agency, eliminate all the terrorists and make the agency ready for development works like South Waziristan.
To a question about delay in operation, Abdul Qadir Baloch said that there was a popular demand that peace should be given a chance and the government was extremely sincere in talks but the TTP broke the dialogue process and started terrorist activities.
He said that unfortunately FATA was neglected in the past due to which it could not be brought at par with the developed areas.
However, he said that the present government was fully committed to bring about change in FATA and introduce large-scale reforms.
Pakistan, he said, has given great sacrifices in the war against terrorism and the terrorist sanctuaries present in FATA were not made by Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan would not ask for any financial support from the international community but the world community should realise its responsibility and do what it was supposed to do.
He said that target was to break the TTP and there were clear signs that it was breaking.
Bajwas said that Pakistan Army would chase and hunt the terrorists to finish their capability to hit back.
He said that North Waziristan had become hub of all terrorist activities so elimination of this sanctuary had become vital.
Replying to a question, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that Pakistan stance on drone attacks was very clear as they proved counter-productive.
He said that Foreign Office has already registered Pakistan’s protest over recent drone attacks inside Pakistan’s territory.
Earlier, giving a presentation on the Zarb-e-Azb operation, the DG ISPR said that so far 376 terrorists have been killed.
He informed the troops have recovered underground tunnels and IEDs preparation factories inside the so far cleared area.
He said integrated fire of Artillery, Tanks and other heavy weapons is being carried out on terrorist’s concentrations in the agency and effective cordon is in place at areas housing terrorists.
Since start of operation Zarb-e-Azb on 15 June, 376 terrorists have been killed while 19 have surrendered to the security forces.
He said that 61 terrorists hideouts have been destroyed in the operation while 19 Soldiers have embraced Shahadat in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb
He said that distribution of relief items for IDPs continues at Bannu, DI Khan and Tank.