Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif has said terrorists now have no place to hide in the country and they will be hit forcefully wherever they are found.
He made the statement on Thursday during a visit to the North Waziristan Agency (NWA), where military is engaged in a full-scale offensive against hardcore militants.
Gen Raheel was also accompanied by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt to review the progress so far achieved in the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asim Salim Bajwa in his tweets said both the chiefs were briefed on the progress in Zarb-e-Azb and future plans to purge the area of all kinds of terrorists. They also met troops fighting what is dubbed “a decisive battle” against terrorism.
The DG ISPR said the army chief and air chief acknowledged that a new level of ‘jointness’ between the army and air force had been achieved in the ongoing operation against terrorists, adding that the efficacy of use of air power with ground operation was also appreciated.
The air force has played a major role in softening the targets in the restive tribal agency. The air strikes helped ground forces to make inroads in areas once considered strongholds of militants. Both the commanders, the spokesperson said, reaffirmed their commitment to eliminate all terrorists and rid the country of all types of terrorism, adding that they further said operation would continue till the job is finished.
They also discussed the repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the operation in NWA, the DG ISPR added. The army chief, he said, directed all the authorities concerned to prepare for a ‘dignified’ return of the IDPs.
The repatriation process of tens of thousands of IDPs is scheduled to commence on March 17 for South Waziristan Agency and March 31 for North Waziristan Agency.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2015.
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