Top military commanders on Monday reviewed the progress achieved so far in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and vowed that terrorists would not be allowed to regroup and return to North Waziristan Agency.
The corps commanders’ conference, which was presided over by army chief General Raheel Sharif, was given a detailed briefing on the military operation and the overall security situation, the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement.
“The participants vowed that terrorists will not be allowed to regroup and return to these areas, neither will they be allowed any space across the country,” added the statement.
The statement appears to address concerns expressed by Afghanistan and the United States that the ongoing military offensive was not affective against the Haqqani Network and that these groups might regroup and return to the area.
Army chief General Raheel expressed satisfaction over the progress made in Operation Zarb-e-Azb so far. He underscored the need to consolidate operational gains made so far which he hoped would also be backed up by long-term counterterrorism and counter-extremism measures by the concerned stakeholders.
Recounting the sacrifices made and cooperation extended by our brave tribal brethren in the fight against terrorism, the COAS directed all concerned that no stone be left unturned to assist the IDPs during their stay outside and in their early return to their homes, according to the ISPR statement.
He also paid rich tributes to the courage shown and sacrifices rendered by troops during the operation. “With the blessings of Allah Almighty and the wholehearted support of our valiant nation, Operation Zarb-e-Azb will succeed,” the army chief said.
The top commanders met amid growing political uncertainty triggered by the scheduled long marches by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
Although military officials would not comment publicly on the controversy, insiders told The Express Tribune that the issue did come under discussion and the security establishment would keep a close eye on the evolving political situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2014.
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