KARACHI: As the army launches arguably its toughest operation yet against militants in the country’s restive tribal region, The Express Tribune takes a look back at previous major operations launched to root out militancy in the past 10 years.
November 2007: Operation Rah-e-Haq
The first phase of Operation Rah-e-Haq commenced in November 2007 in collaboration with local police against Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in Swat Valley. However, the militants gradually infiltrated into key cities. The second phase of operation began in July 2008 and continued throughout the year. The operation resulted in the death of 36 security personnel, nine civilians and 615 militants.
The third phase of the operation was launched in January 2009. The operation ended after a peace accord, known as Malakand Accord, was signed between the government and TNSM.
September 2008: Operation Sher Dil
The Pakistan Army launched Operation Sher Dil on September 9, 2008, in Bajaur Agency, to “target all the militant groups that threatened the security of Pakistan.” By early December, over 1,000 militants and 63 security personnel had been killed.
May 2009: Operation Rah-e-Rast
In May 2009, Pakistan launched another operation in Swat after the accord failed to ensure peace in the region.
A major offensive took place in Mingora in the last week of May. By end May, the army had regained control of Mingora.
October 2009: Operation Rah-e-Nijat
In October 2009, the army launched an offensive against militants in South Waziristan with support from gunship helicopters and aircraft.
Security officials taking part in Operation Rah-e-Nijat. PHOTO: APP
The major objective of the operation was to destroy militant strongholds in South Waziristan.
Then army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani accompanied by Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman during a visit to South Waziristan on November 29, 2009. PHOTO: ISPR
July 2011: Operation Koh-e-Sufaid
On July 4, 2011, the military launched its offensive against militants in Kurram agency, located within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Operation Koh-e-Sufaid (White Mountain) targeted militants in Kurram with the principle objective of securing and reopening the Thall-Parachinar road, which had come under repeated attacks by Sunni militants.
A Group photo of former Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani with troops at Mandan, Kurram Agency, after the successful culmination of Operation Koh-e-Sufaid. PHOTO: ISPR