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Thread: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates (North Waziristan)

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    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates (North Waziristan)

    RAWALPINDI: After a long period of speculation, which also included attempts at peace talks, Pakistan on Sunday launched a military operation against militants in the troubled North Waziristan agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

    As the Pakistan Army embarks on this critical mission, get all the updates of the operation, code-named Zarb-e-Azb, here.

    All stories relating to Zarb-e-Azb can be found on this trend page as well.

    June 20, 9:17 am

    Gunship helicopters shell suspected militant hideouts in Qutub Khel suburb of Miramshah, Express News reports.

    Artillery shells are also being fired from security camps.

    Today is the last day for tribesmen to vacate the affected areas.

    June 19, 11:59 pm

    Pakistan has sought extradition of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah from Afghanistan.



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    June 19, 10:33pm

    Chairing a high level meeting in Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought national unity and stressed that “there is a need to extend full support to our jawans (soldiers) in the combat area.”

    Read more about the meeting here.

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    June 19, 10:10 pm

    Afghan president Hamid Karzai called prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday assuring the latter of former’s support.

    Read details of the call here.

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    June 19, 5:45pm

    The Foreign Office has clarified that drone strikes have no links with the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan, adding that it was completely misleading and wrong to attach the two.

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    June 19, 5:14pm

    Civilians are streaming out of a tribal area in a two-pronged exodus ahead of an expected ground assault against militants, officials said Thursday, with many crossing the border into Afghanistan.

    Tanks and troops have been mobilised and are expected to begin a new, more intense phase of the operation after a three-day window to allow civilians to leave the area, due to end on June 20.

    Officials say that at least 113,000 people have fled North Waziristan since initial air strikes began in May.

    “Afghan authorities have yet to prepare a final report but up to now they have provided assistance to 818 Pakistani families,” an official responsible for monitoring the displacement on the Afghan border told AFP.

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    June 19, 3:50pm

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said national unity is inevitable for the success of the military operation in North Waziristan, while talking to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, according to Radio Pakistan.

    The prime minister said Pakistan is fighting a decisive war against terrorists, adding that the jawans engaged in the war would be extended full support.

    He also said that IDPs in K-P would be fully assisted.

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    June 19, 3:22pm

    Fifteen terrorists were killed in Zartatangi mountain heights, east of Miramshah by army gunship cobra helicopters last night when spotted. It was one of the main communication centres of terrorists, said an ISPR statement.

    “In a separate sniper action, eight Uzbeks were killed around Miramshah while planting IEDs on the road Miramshah-Mirali,” the statement added.

    Further, the ISPR statement said, areas housing terrorists in North Wazirstan Agency are continuously being cordoned off, while terrorists’ attempts to flee the area have been foiled.

    “Today, evacuation of civil population from Miramshah and Ghulam Khan started. Check points have been established at various places where IDPs are being provided all administrative support including food items and medicine by security forces,” said the statement.

    Furthermore, it added that the number of registration points at Saidgai Post have been increased to 20 — 10 each for men and women, for speedy and organised evacuation. IDP camps at Bannu have also been established, the ISPR said in its statement.

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    June 19, 1:32pm

    According to an ISPR press release, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Air Headquarters Islamabad and called on Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt.



    [IMG]Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif (R) and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt (L). PHOTO: ISPR[/IMG]
    Civilians, fleeing from a military operation in North Waziristan tribal agency, arrive in Bannu district. PHOTO: AFP

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    June 18, 6:30pm

    The AJK Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution in support of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in its session in Muzaffarabad.

    Similarly, the Punjab Assembly also passed a resolution in support of the operation. The resolution, tabled by the Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, praised the prime minister for making the right decision in conducting the operation.

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    June 18, 4:24pm

    Military eases curfew in main towns of North Waziristan to allow civilians to flee offensive against the Taliban.

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    June 18, 2:52pm

    Residents of Mir Ali burnt down four houses of Uzbeks living in the area after giving them a warning to leave, Express News reported.

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    June 18, 1:08pm

    According to security forces, internally displaced persons are being shifted to camps after strict verification, Express News reports.

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    June 18, 1:03pm

    Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters, according to an ISPR press release.

    Operation Zarb-e-Azb and matters of mutual interest including measures to improve security along the Pakistan–Afghanistan border were discussed during the meeting.



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    June 18, 9:32am

    The death toll from Wednesday’s drone strike in Miramshah rose to six, Express News reports.

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    June 18, 4:32am

    As the operation in North Waziristan continues, a fresh drone attack in Miramshah killed at least four people on Wednesday morning, Express News reports.

    June 17, 9:50pm

    Instead of providing relief goods and food, the government has decided to initially provide each IDP family cash grant of Rs 12,000 to take care of their needs. Later, they would be provided with Rs 7,000 on a monthly basis.

    Read this story for more details on the government’s plan for taking care of IDPs.

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    June 17, 8:39pm

    The federal government announced on Tuesday that Rs500 million will be sanctioned for providing relief to the internally displacement persons (IDPs) fleeing the military operation in North Waziristan.

    Read here for more details on the government’s plan for taking care of IDPs.

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    June 17, 8:14pm

    Minister for States and Frontier Region Abdul Qadir Baloch, who has been tasked by the prime minister to oversee issues relating to the internally displaced people (IDPs), said all IDPs will be registered using biometric systems.

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    June 17, 8:02pm

    The top US military commander in Afghanistan says the US has increased its surveillance over the Afghan-Pakistan border since Pakistan began pounding a militant stronghold with airstrikes, BBC Urdu reported on Tuesday.

    Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told The Associated Press in an interview that the US was not coordinating military operations with Pakistan along the border, but officials have increased the amount of intelligence-sharing with the Afghans. He said the Afghan troops and US forces in that region were ready for any effects of the strikes, including extremists seeking refuge in Afghanistan.

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    June 17, 5:10pm

    DG ISPR Asim Bajwa has said the operation has not begun in the populated areas of N Waziristan to ensure terrorists don’t escape and civilians are safely evacuated.

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    June 17, 5:08pm

    Expressing concern over the military operation in FATA, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that Parliament is helpless before the military establishment.

    “The army has taken a decision and parliament has given mere approval for it,” said Fazl during the National Assembly session.

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    June 17, 3:54pm

    Six terrorist hideouts including a training camp and an IED making factory around Hasokhel, North Waziristan Agency were destroyed by jet aircraft early morning today. Twenty-five foreign and local terrorists were killed in the strikes, according to a press release issued by ISPR.

    The statement went on to add that the operation in North Waziristan Agency is progressing as per plan. “Last night three terrorists were killed while fleeing from the cordoned off area in Miramshah. One soldier got injured in exchange of fire.

    Further, the statement said, no operation in built up area has been started so far to ensure that no terrorist can escape the cordon and that civilians are safely evacuated after their detailed verification.

    “Necessary logistics and administrative arrangements for IDPs have been completed by the political administration and Disaster Management Agency. Security of IDP camp being ensured by Army troops,” the statement said.

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    June 17, 3:11pm

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to ensure provision of ample funds for the rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the North Waziristan operation.

    Meanwhile, PM Nawaz has also directed Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch to visit affected areas of North Waziristan operation. The minister will remain present in the area to look after the displaced people.
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    June 17, 12:58pm

    Nawaz asks his Kabul counterpart Hamid Karzai to seal the porous Pak-Afghan border where the Pakistani army has deployed troops and tanks, AFP reports.

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    June 17, 11:58am

    Fresh air strikes early Tuesday target three militant strongholds in Mirali town in North Waziristan and kill 13 alleged militants, three security sources said, AFP reports.

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    June 17, 11:55am

    Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif cancels his visit to Sri Lanka due to the ongoing operation in North Waziristan Agency, The Express Tribune’s defence correspondent Kamran Yousaf reports.

    General Raheel was scheduled to travel to Colombo on Tuesday for a four-day trip. However the military’s media wing says the visit has been called off because of operation Zarb-e-Azb.

    June 16, 11:30pm

    “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday called President Hamid Karazai and discussed issues on regional security,” said a statement issued by Prime Minister Office.

    Although the statement did not mention of operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Wazirstan, sources said that the PM had sought cooperation from the Afghan President.

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    June 16, 9:56pm



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    June 16, 9:43pm

    A resolution in favour of the military operation was passed in the National Assembly; Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) abstained from approving it, according to our National Assembly correspondent Azam Khan.

    The resolution, moved by Zahid Hamid, was signed and supported by PML (N), PPP, PTI, MQM and ANP.

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    June 16, 8:56pm

    According to an ISPR press release, COAS General Raheel Sharif emphasized that all terrorists along with their sanctuaries must be eliminated without any discrimination.

    It further stated that the operation is not targeted against the tribes of North Waziristan, but against terrorists holed up in the Agency who have picked up arms against Pakistan.

    He directed all those concerned to undertake special measures towards diligent management of IDPs in conjunction with the relevant civilian agencies.

    COAS reiterated that with the support of the nation, particularly of the tribal brethren, Operation Zarb-e-Azb will be concluded successfully and comprehensively, the press release said.

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    June 16, 8:44pm

    According to Express News, army chief says terrorists are the target in North Waziristan, not locals.

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    June 16, 8:32pm

    Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar where he was briefed about the operation, according to Express News.


    COAS General Raheel Sharif during his visit to Corps Headquarters Peshawar for briefing on operation Zarb-e-Azb on Monday. PHOTO: ISPR

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    June 16, 8:24pm

    Seven terrorists were killed in exchange of fire when trying to flee from cordoned off area. Two soldiers were also killed during the exchange of fire, according to ISPR.

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    June 16, 8:15pm

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday constituted a national coordination committee to oversee the operation and related issues.

    The coordination committee would hold meetings on regular basis and will keep the Prime Minister informed about the progress of the operation, said a statement issued by PM office.

    The committee will be comprised of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Senator Parvez Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt General (retd) Abdul Quadir Baloch and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Secretary interior, secretary finance, chief sectary K-P, Chairman NDMA, Chief of General Staff, DG MO, DG ISI, DG ISPR would also be the part of the committee.

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    June 16, 8:05pm

    After his speech in the National Assembly, Imran Khan says the government should have taken all stakeholders into confidence over the decision of the army operation, Express News reports.

    He added that the government should have provided them with details of the operation.

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    June 16, 6:48pm

    Nawaz requests the house to be allowed to leave after completing his speech. He doesn’t stay to listen to the speeches of the opposition leader PPP’s Khursheed Shah or of PTI’s Imran Khan.

    Read a comprehensive story on the prime minster’s speech here.

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    June 16, 6:46pm

    At no cost will the country become a safe haven for terrorists, says Nawaz.

    Pakistan is paying heavy price for terrorism, says the PM, adding that Pakistanis homes and mosques were targeted.

    He said that terrorism has affected every aspect of Pakistan – tourism, sports and the economy.

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    June 16, 6:43pm

    Abdul Qadir Baloch will be assigned to manage the facilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons.

    PM Nawaz expects the tribes to play an important part in this operation.

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    June 16, 6:42pm

    PM requests religious leaders to play their role in eradicating extremism from the country.

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    June 16, 6:41pm

    The PM added that blood was spilled in Karachi and Islamabad despite our peace efforts.

    Media and oppostion parties should stand united with the government and the armed forces.

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    June 16, 6:38pm

    All the decisions were taken in consultation with all stakeholders, including the armed forces, he says.

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    June 16, 6:36pm

    The PM says the government had decided to give peace a chance, pointing out that they had started the negotiation process which had been endorsed by Parliament.

    He says that the people of Pakistan are witnesses to these “sincere” efforts, which, he says, were not reciprocated from the other side (TTP).

    He says that while the government was trying to negotiate, the TTP targeted the country’s children.

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    June 16, 6:34pm

    Nawaz says the operation will not end until all terrorists are eliminated.


    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivering his keynote address at National Assembly on Monday, June 16, 2014. PHOTO: PID

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    June 16, 6:33pm

    PM Nawaz has arrived at the National Assembly.

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    June 16, 6:24pm

    US embassy has announced its support for the army operation in North Waziristan, Express News reported.

    The embassy further stated that the US will support all steps being taken to stabilise Pakistan.

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    June 16, 6:09pm

    Army troops on the move from Malir Cantt; to be deployed in Karachi, Express News reports.


    Express News screengrab of army troops on the move.

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    June 16, 5:59pm

    The house has gone into break, but it looks like the floor is getting ready for the briefing.

    Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is present at the National Assembly as well as Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif.

    Imran Khan’s speech writer has also been spotted in the gathering.

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    June 16, 5:35pm

    The session of the National Assembly, which was to see the prime minister brief parliament (and the nation) on the operation under way in North Waziristan, began at 4:22pm.

    The session is being chaired by Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

    So far, the session has only seen speeches on the budget – no sign of the prime minister yet.

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    June 16, 5:21pm

    Army will deployed in all major cities of Pakistan, Express News reports.

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    June 16, 4:25pm

    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.

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    June 16, 3:42pm

    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supports the operation in North Waziristan, Express News reports.

    According to ISPR, six soldiers were killed while three others were injured in an IED explosion near Ghulam Khan town near Afghan border in North Waziristan tribal region.



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    June 16, 3:20pm

    Army will be deployed in sensitive areas of Karachi, according to Express News.

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    June 16, 3:12pm

    PM Nawaz Sharif is expected to address the National Assembly at 4pm on the ongoing operation in North Waziristan.


    A Pakistan army vehicle heads towards North Waziristan. PHOTO: AFP
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  2. #2
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    June 16, 2:50pm

    Giving details about yesterday’s offensive, the ISPR press release states that 140 militants – mostly Uzbek – were killed in precise air strikes in Degan-Boya area of North Waziristan.

    “Many East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorists and their affiliates have also been killed in the strikes. It was a massive blow to the terrorists and one of their main communication centres has been dismantled,” the ISPR states.

    Around seven fleeing terrorists were also killed on the outskirts of Mirali last night. In a separate sniper action by Special Service Group, three terrorists were killed when they were planting IEDs close to Miramshah.

    Three soldiers were injured last night in exchange of fire between army men and terrorists around Mirali.

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    June 16, 2:39pm

    “We will rid the country of terrorists,” Army Chief General Raheel Sharif says, speaking about the operation in North Waziristan. He adds that the operation will continue until all terrorists are eliminated.



    Pakistani soldiers heading towards North Waziristan. PHOTO: AFP

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    June 16, 2:31pm

    Our defence correspondent Kamran Yousaf tells us that at least seven suspected militants were killed in the Shawal area in the first ground encounter between security forces and militants since the army moved into North Waziristan Agency.

    A senior security official tells The Express Tribune that a shootout took place in early hours on Monday.

    This is the first reported encounter between the army and militants on the ground as earlier militants were killed in air strikes.

    Giving details about the operation, the official tells our defence correspondent that militants were surrounded by the army in the overnight raid with the intention to capture them alive. However, the official adds, the militants opened fired and were killed in the shootout.

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    June 16, 2:25pm

    The Sindh Assembly passes a unanimous resolution, supporting army operation in North Waziristan.

    For more details, read here.

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    June 16, 2:22pm

    The press release further states: “Operation in North Waziristan Agency is progressing as per plan. No operation in civil populated areas has been started so far. North Waziristan Agency has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighbouring agencies and Fata regions to block any move of terrorists in and out of the Agency.”



    A Pakistan Army convoy heads towards North Waziristan in Bannu district. PHOTO: AFP

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    June 16, 2:18pm

    ISPR says security has been beefed up in all major cities and towns and at sensitive installations across the country by civil administration.

    “Army troops have been alerted and forward placed to assist law enforcement agencies. They will remain at designated places and whenever asked by civil administration will be employed in case of emergency,” ISPR adds.

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    June 16, 2:15pm

    In its latest press release, ISPR says jet aircraft destroyed six hideouts in Shawal, killing 27 suspected militants. “There was no civil population in the area,” the press release states.

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    June 16, 10:52am

    Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says this operation will continue till the surrender or elimination of enemy.

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    June 16, 10:35am

    Pakistan Air Force launches fresh air strikes in North Waziristan as part of Zarb-e-Azb operation - a long-awaited offensive to eliminate militants from their border stronghold.

    A local security official says fighter jets bombed two buildings west of Miramshah – the main town of North Waziristan – early Monday killing at least 10 Uzbek militants who were sheltering in them.

    June 15, 11:04pm

    The defence minister has said that dialogue was not honoured by the Taliban and the government got frustrated by attacks on innocent Pakistanis and national assets.

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    June 15, 10:26pm

    ISPR has also released a detailed statement on the North Waziristan operation. You can read the entire press release here.

    According to the statement, eight hideouts of terrorists were destroyed and 105 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were killed.

    “As of now North Wazirastan Agency has been isolated by deploying troops along its border with neighboring agencies and FATA Regions to block any move of terrorists in and out of the Agency,” said the statement, adding that within the agency, troops have moved and cordoned off all terrorists bases, including in the town of Mirali and Miramshah.

    “Announcements will be made for local population to approach designated areas for their orderly and dignified evacuation out of the Agency. Meanwhile, aerial surveillance of the area is being carried out by own aerial surveillance platforms,” the statement added.

    Further, the statement added that Afghan security forces have also been requested to seal the border on their side to facilitate the operation. “They have also been requested to initiate immediate measures to eliminate TTP terrorists and their sanctuaries in Kunar, Nuristan and other areas of Afghanistan.”

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    June 15, 10:19pm

    ISPR has given the first two official updates regarding the operation on the ground.

    The DG ISPR has tweeted that all potential terrorists bases have been cordoned off and the civilian population will be allowed to leave. Further, an IDP camp has also been established.

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    June 15, 9:52pm

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to take Parliament into confidence on Monday about the government’s decision to launch a military operation in North Waziristan.

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    June 15, 9:02pm

    Information Minister Pervez Rashid has appealed to all political parties to stand by the army during the operation. He went on to add that the militants will either drop their weapons or face defeat, Express News reported.

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    June 15, 8:45pm

    A military official in the main North Waziristan town of Miramshah told AFP that the coordinated operation – involving airforce, artillery, tanks and ground troops – has already started.

    After the announcement of the full-scale operation in the North Waziristan area, a security official on ground said that thousands of troops have been moved for action.
    “Thousands of troops will participate in this action. You can roughly say 25,000 to 30,000 troops will be involved in the operation,” the official said on the condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to media.

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    June 15, 7:50pm

    Talking to Express News, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the government went through with peace talks, but once they failed the government decided to launch military action. He went on to add that civilians residing in that area will face difficulties due to the operation, but the government is prepared to assist them.

    “The army is ready and citizens should remain calm army is prepared to deal with difficult situations and will help civilians move,” he said, adding that air and ground forces are fully ready to act and will bring complete peace to the area.

    “We will complete the operation as soon as possible,” he added.

    Asif said that the decision of the operation against terrorists reflects the wishes of people of the country.

    In a statement on Sunday, he said the government fully tried to resolve the issue through dialogue. He said the decision of the operation is taken thoughtfully, keeping in view all options.

    The defence minister said the operation is need of the hour and would continue till complete elimination of the enemies.

    He said the Pakistani nation is with the armed forces of the country. The minister expressed confidence that the operation will be a success of our armed forces.

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    June 15, 7:19pm

    The meaning of Zarb-e-Azb is sharp and cutting. It’s reportedly the sword used by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the battle of Badar.

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    June 15, 6:59pm

    ISPR press release announces launch of military operation.

    “DG ISPR has said that on the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan have launched a comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists who are hiding in sanctuaries in North Waziristan Agency. The operation has been named Zarb-e-Azb,” said the press release.

    The ISPR statement went on to add that terrorists in North Waziristan had waged a war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property. “They had also paralysed life within the agency and had perpetually terrorised the entire peace loving and patriotic local population,” the statement added.

    “Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and colour, along with their sanctuaries. With the support of the entire nation, and in coordination with other state institutions and Law Enforcement Agencies, these enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country. As always, armed forces of Pakistan will not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice for the motherland,” said the statement.
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    Afghanistan assures Pakistan of full support in NWA operation

    * Afghan envoy visits GHQ, meets army chief to discuss anti-Taliban operation, security along Pak-Afghan border

    ISLAMABAD: A top Afghan envoy is said to have assured Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif “full cooperation” from the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in ensuring effective border surveillance in the backdrop of the Pakistan Army’s ongoing military operation against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in North Waziristan Agency.

    In a rare visit to the General Headquarters (GHQ), Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai met COAS General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday to discuss the relevant Pak-Afghan border issues involving Zarb-e-Azb operation. “The ongoing operation in North Waziristan Agency and matters of mutual interest, including measures to improve security along Pakistan – Afghanistan border, were discussed,” a brief statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

    The meeting was held hours after two US drone strikes in NWA targeted at least six militants in Dargah Mandi. Pakistan’s Foreign Office condemned the drone hits. The number of drone strikes in the NWA in a week has now risen to four. Last Wednesday, the first two US drone strikes in the ongoing year had taken out at least 16 terror suspects in the NWA. On Wednesday, up to 16 militants were killed in the security forces action in Dandadarpakhel area of NWA, sources claimed.

    The curfew hours in Mir Ali and Miranshah subdivisions of NWA were relaxed to allow maximum civilian displacement from NWA in three days – from June 18-20. The security forces’ siege around the two areas continues, officials said. Moreover, in the Wednesday meeting, according to military sources, the Afghan envoy was conveyed that Pakistan held serious reservations regarding the role of ANSF in the context of the ongoing operation Zarb-a-Azb.

    Reportedly, the Afghan diplomat was informed that while there were adequate assurances from the NATO-led ISAF to assist Pakistan Army by means of taking on the TTP sanctuaries on the other side of the border, such kind of support and cooperation on part of the Afghan authorities, the officials believed, was lacking. Mosazai, the sources claimed, was also told that Pakistan Army had formally requested the Afghan authorities to cooperate for foolproof surveillance at Pak-Afghan border to block the way of runaway militants and to take on TTP sanctuaries in Khost, Nuristan and Kunar provinces.

    In response, the Afghan envoy is said to have assured on part of the Afghan government that Kabul would extend “every possible assistance” to Pakistan to defeat the TTP militants in the ongoing offensive. Afghan Embassy spokesman Shams Zardasht, when called, was not available to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, the United Nations on Wednesday said the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of NWA needed shelter, access to health facilities and food.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/nationa...-nwa-operation

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    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    PESHAWAR: At least 232 suspected militants were killed while 20 militant hideouts have been destroyed in North Waziristan during the Zarb-i-Azb military operation till date, DawnNews reported on Friday.

    Eight security personnel have been killed so far, while seven others were injured during the operation.

    Two major terrorist communication centers located on the hills and a bomb-making factory were destroyed.

    According to military sources, the operation is ongoing in Miramshah and Mir Ali and militants’ attempts to escape have ben foiled. According to ISPR, troops have cordoned off all areas in North Waziristan to foil attempts by terrorists to flee the tribal agency.

    It is expected that the operation will see greater on-ground action in the upcoming days.

    The army launched its long-awaited major operation 'Zarb-i-Azb' in the tribal region a week after an attack on the airport in Karachi, deploying troops, tanks and jets to the area in the crackdown on the Taliban and other militants.

    The number of registered displaced families has reached 7,031 comprising over 100,000 people. Today is the last day for locals to evacuate the area.
    Hafiz Gul Bahadur announces 'defensive war'

    Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur announced on Thursday to launch a ‘defensive war’ from Friday.

    His spokesman Ahamdullah Ahmadi told Dawn on phone from an unspecified place that the Shura North Waziristan Agency had never been part of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    He said the purpose of the ‘defensive war’ was to avoid losses.

    He said the Shura had not allowed the TTP to use the soil of North Waziristan for its activities.
    Operation Zarb-i-Azb: Interactive map

    Latest: 30,000 soldiers involved in operation - over 230 insurgents killed.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114022/zar...outs-destroyed

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    US, Pakistan forces maintaining coordination, says Pentagon

    There is daily and constant communication between the US-led forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani military as Pakistan continues its operation against militants in North Waziristan, says the US Defence Department.
    At a regular news briefing at the Pentagon, Press Secretary Admiral John Kirby said that the Zarb-i-Azb offensive was also “a testament to the degree to which Pakistan, the United States and Afghanistan have a shared threat and a shared challenge to deal with.”

    So far, the US administration has been very cautious in commenting on the operation which began last week amidst fears that a strong US interest in the offensive could prove counter-productive.

    Officials say US not involved in Zarb-i-Azb offensive
    At recent briefings, officials at the White House and the State Department made it clear that this was a “Pakistan-led and Pakistan-executed” operation and the United States was not involved in it, directly or indirectly.

    Admiral Kirby also emphasised this point but went a step ahead of his colleagues at other government departments in acknowledging that US-led forces in Afghanistan had maintained a close coordination with the Pakistani forces.

    “There is daily, constant communication between the ISAF forces under General Joseph Dunford and the Pakistani counterparts on various levels,” said Admiral Kirby when asked if the United States was coordinating with Pakistan to ensure that the militants fleeing North Waziristan did not enter Afghanistan. “I won’t get into details about the specifics on this particular operation, but communication with the Pakistani military continues, and must continue.”

    The admiral was more careful when asked to predict if Zarb-i-Azb would be successful. “The operation just began. And we’re not going to certainly rush to judgment here on how it proceeds. But “we obviously hope that the operation that the Pakistani military is conducting is successful, because it does represent a common enemy”.

    Admiral Kirby also recalled the sacrifices of the Pakistan army in the fight against terrorists, saying that the Pentagon has never shied away from recognising these efforts.

    “I said it before, but it’s worth reminding -- I mean, we recognise that the Pakistani military has taken casualties in this fight for many years. This isn’t the first time that they’ve conducted operations there,” he said.

    The Pentagon spokesman noted that the recent attacks at the Karachi airport were “a very stark reminder” of how the threat of terrorism affects the Pakistani people. So, again, we wish them well, and we look forward to seeing them succeed.”

    Asked if Pakistan would also target the Haqqani network, Admiral Kirby said he was not going to speak about the “intents and objectives” of an operation conducted by another army.

    Responding to another question, the admiral said he did not know if Pakistan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who visited the Pentagon this week, had sought US help for the operation.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1113696/us-...-says-pentagon

  6. #6
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Zarb-i-Azb: 20 militants killed, 150,000 civilians evacuated

    BANNU: Pakistan's military gunship helicopters pounded militant targets in North Waziristan tribal region on Friday, killing up to 20 suspected rebels, as the number of civilians fleeing an expected ground offensive passed 150,000.

    Nearly 100,000 people have left North Waziristan tribal area, on the Afghan border, this week after the military launched a long-awaited assault against Taliban hideouts.

    The authorities eased a shoot-on-sight curfew on Wednesday to give civilians a chance to leave before troops began a full-blooded ground operation.

    A senior security official told AFP that gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts in an early morning raid in Kutabkhel area of Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan, killing up to 20 militants.

    Also read: Zarb-i-Azb: 232 militants killed, 20 hideouts destroyed

    A local intelligence official also confirmed the attack and casualties.

    The military offensive began last week after a bloody and dramatic attack on Karachi airport earlier during the month brought an end to months of largely fruitless government efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    Washington has long demanded action against militant hideouts in North Waziristan, which has served as a rear base for insurgents battling US-led forces in Afghanistan.

    The area, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border, has been an important base for the TTP, which has killed thousands in bombings and gun attacks during its seven-year insurgency.

    The fighting also triggered a huge exodus of civilians from North Waziristan into Bannu, Peshawar and Kohat and across the border into Afghanistan.

    “Some 157,000 people have arrived in Bannu from different areas of North Waziristan,” Arshad Khan, director general of the Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Disaster Management Authority, told AFP on Friday.

    Registration points and camps have been set up to deal with the influx of people in Bannu, but many prefer to travel on to stay with relatives in other areas.

    Thousands of people including women and children were seen travelling to Bannu by foot on Friday morning.

    Women were sitting along the roadsides as vehicles and passenger vans kept moving at a snail's pace in long queues.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114044/zar...ians-evacuated

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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates













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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates



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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates



    In Konar and Nuristan, the two provinces where Fazlullah is believed to be hiding, we need his head #ZarbEAzb
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    US leaders assured of operation against TTP, Haqqani Group

    WASHINGTON: Before initiating the recent North Waziristan offensive, the top Pakistani leadership took the US in confidence, saying that Pakistan was ready to take action against all the militant groups, which included the notorious Haqqani Network. The US has been watchful of the ongoing operation but remains sceptical of the reported results given the history of distrust between the countries.

    Over the last few weeks, senior officials of the two countries addressed the issue in different meetings, where the political as well as military leadership of Pakistan assured the US officials about their decisive action against the militants.

    The assurance came not just from one quarter but from almost all the stakeholders tasked with security of the country.Ambassador James Dobbins, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday: “We have been assured by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, army chief Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and the head of the ISI Gen Zaheer.”

    Dobbins went on to say that according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood, “They [Pakistan] are going to treat all militant groups similarly and that they are going to force all foreign militants out of North Waziristan and Pakistan.”General Mahmood is visiting Washington this week, and has had numerous meeting with state and defence department officials.

    Answering a question raised by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez about the willingness of Pakistan to confront the Haqqani Network during the operation, Ambassador Dobbins said that there were concerns that were justified but “we will be examining this carefully, we have gotten the right assurances but there is a historical pattern of activity which indicates that there are habits here that are going to be difficult to break.”

    Referring to the military action against the militants, he said: “We have made our position clear that it’s a right thing.”For years, the United States has been pushing Pakistan to root out the Haqqani Network, who allegedly were given sanctuary in the country’s tribal areas. The State Department in its latest country report on terrorism highlighted the issues once again: “Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network leadership and facilitation network continued to find safe haven in Pakistan, and Pakistani authorities did not take significant military or law enforcement action against these groups.”

    Lately, the US has also linked military aid, including the Coalition Support Fund payments to Pakistan, directly to an operation in North Waziristan. According to the terms of the National Defence Authorisation Act for the upcoming year, senior US officials had to issue a waiver certifying that “Pakistan has undertaken military operations in North Waziristan that have significantly disrupted the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network.”

    Testifying before the committee members on US policy in Afghanistan, Ambassador Dobbins said: “It’s notable that among the targets that Pakistan is going after vigourously are the Uzbek groups.”

    He also said that the civilian and military point of view was to give the TTP a chance to disarm and respect the Constitution. The US, he said, had no objection to it. The move was to appeal some of the elements of the insurgency off, Dobbins said adding, “They needed to go into the massive operation of this sort — which was going to produce a lot of refugees, a lot of cost, a lot of damage to innocent people as well as to the guilty, on the basis of a strong national consensus.”

    Dobbins said that Pakistan now had a strong national consensus. He maintained that civilian and military leadership in Pakistan had had their differences but the said operation suggested that both parties were on the same page now.

    “Historically, there has been a strong distinction between civilian and military leadership, and while this has not gone entirely away, the two are a lot closer and civilian authority over the military is gradually being demonstrated,” Dobbins said, adding that “the prime minister has authorised and directed this particular action, while I think military might have had a different view throughout this period they saluted and done what they have been told.”

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...-Haqqani-Group
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    Military to be given full resources to accomplish NWA operation: PM

    PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his first ever visit to the Headquarters of the Peshawar Corps of Pakistan Army, assured the military of full financial support to ensure success in the ongoing military operation against militants in North Waziristan tribal region.

    The prime minister, who was also accompanied by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, was given a briefing by senior commanders of the Pakistan Army on the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation.

    They were apprised about the significance of Zarb-i-Azb and told that the operation was imperative because of the threat of large scale attacks across the country by the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    During the briefing, it was also confirmed that 232 terrorists of various terror groups were killed while 20 militant sanctuaries were destroyed, along with their communication networks so far.

    PM Nawaz and General Sharif were also told that forces had encircled the TTP strongholds in Mirali and Miramshah areas of North Waziristan to ensure that no terrorist fled the area.

    "Militants’ supply line has also been cut," the briefing further said.

    They were also informed that the presence of East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and International Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) posed serious security threats not only to Pakistan but also to the region. These networks also had full foreign financial and material support, it was said.

    Senior commanders said during the briefing that in the first phase, spanning over six weeks, major targets would be achieved by security forces.

    Nawaz said that he had spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to ensure that Afghan soil may not be used against Pakistan by fleeing terrorists.
    PM Nawaz hits back at opponents

    Earlier today, Sharif lashed out at his opponents and said they were agitating against the government’s developmental agenda that included purging Pakistan form terrorism, ending load shedding and making Pakistan a prosperous and developed nation.

    Premier Sharif was addressing a gathering at Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad where hundreds of students were provided with laptops.

    "We are following the agenda of development for Pakistan. I am unable to understand the agenda of the people who are agitating," Sharif alluded to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) without naming either of the parties.

    The premier, while addressing the gathering, said that the government has special plans for the youth. He said the six schemes under the Youth Program had illustrated the government’s commitment.

    "We have successfully launched the youth business loan scheme and 12,000 candidates have been granted loans. I am happy to tell you that the successful candidates have started their businesses and have even started paying back the loan," the PM remarked.

    Sharif said the loan scheme was trust that they had reposed in the youth, adding that they had proved themselves trustworthy.

    The prime minister said that the fee reimbursement scheme for students would benefit around 40,000 students annually, and announced that "I wish to extend this facility to all the students of Pakistan."

    "No student should remain uneducated due to resource constraints,” he added.

    The beneficiaries of our schemes do not belong to a specific party or region but includes students from all parts of Pakistan regardless of their political affiliations, the PM said. "Merit is the only qualification needed to qualify for our schemes," the PM said.

    The students will also get a free EVO Dongle device along with the laptop. The laptops have all the necessary softwares necessary for research while the students will also have access to 6,000 national and international journals.

    He said they were mulling over a bill to eliminate unlicensed weapons from the country in order to make it a peaceful living place. But, he added, we need support of all the parliamentary parties in this respect.

    "Our objective is to make Pakistan a developed and prosperous country so that we can move heads high in the comity of nations, Sharif said.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114051/mil...a-operation-pm
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  12. #12
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Will Zarb-e-Azb bring peace to Pakistan?

    After much dillydallying, useless discussions and utterly unsuccessful peace talks, Pakistan has, finally, launched a “decisive” operation, code named Zarb-e-Azb, against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in the North Waziristan Agency.

    The Pakistan Army claims that around 180 Taliban have been killed so far, with dozens other captured and their safe havens and ammunition depots taken out, in jet bombings and face-to-face skirmishes. All exit points from North Waziristan Agency have been cordoned off and the Taliban are not being given any opportunity to slip to adjacent areas and elude the fire.

    There is a growing impression that the Taliban have been cornered.

    However, the TTP disputes these claims.

    Through a telephone call to BBC Urdu Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, claimed that so far they have lost just a few fighters and that civilians are being targeted in jet bombings.

    As usual, the main collateral damage in this operation is the local population. The Wazir and Dawar tribes of the North Waziristan Agency have been forced to move to adjoining agencies. So far, some 20,000 people have migrated to adjacent areas of Khost, Paktika and Paktiya provinces of Afghanistan where the Afghan government is reported to have allocated roughly 4.04 square kilometres of land for the tribesmen. Thousands other have migrated to nearby districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, like Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Karak. An approximate 0.6 million people are expected to become IDPs. Camps have been established for them in Bannu district. This time, the government has decided to give Rs7000 to each family, instead of providing them with relief goods.

    Like the Swat operation that took place in 2009, this operation is comprehensive, politically owned by the government and backed by all major political parties. Pakistanis have attached very high expectations to this operation and are hoping to achieve endurable peace as a result.

    This operation will definitely bring some positive changes, yes, but, I think it is unrealistic to hope for sustainable peace from an operation like this. Peace needs a lot more than just a military fight.

    Also, there are many reasons why this operation might not even be as successful as it is deemed to be.

    First of all, this operation was launched after much hue and cry, which might have hinted to the TTP that a storm is coming their way. It is not only understandable – it is highly probable – that the Taliban migrated to safer places in order to survive the operation. They had already claimed, a few days back, that they have displaced their assets. So, the probability of the army attacking a major portion of the TTP is very low.

    Even if they have not been allowed the opportunity to leave the agency, as claimed by the army, it is almost impossible to completely seal the harsh, hilly terrains in the areas, especially when there is a 2400-km-long, almost unmanned border with Afghanistan. In unconventional wars, such guerrillas don’t ingeniously dare to face an established army; they go underground and, later-on, connect with each other, re-establish communication lines and then start their activities again.

    In such operations, an established army is always expected to gain significant success – in terms of reclaiming lost territory, that is, in the very first few days of an operation. While this is, and should be seen as, a victory, militants usually wait for a period of relative calm to prevail so as to make the army feel like it has won and then strike back.

    This is what we witnessed in case of operations like Rah-e-Rast in Swat (2009) and Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan (2009). Recently, we heard that military personnel have been attacked in Swat and a curfew has been imposed in many districts there. And even after so many years, the Mehsud tribe of Swat have been unable to return to their homes. So, in my opinion, don’t pin your hopes on the initial success of the operation; it does not matter much.

    Irrespective of how successful this operation is, the major concern right now is to see how long the Taliban will be kept disbanded, how much time this operation will take, how many of them will be physically eliminated, whether their leaders will be taken out or not and, last but not least, for how long the IDPs will be required to remain in camps. These are very pressing questions that need to be answered.

    As far as the survival of the Taliban is concerned, that is inevitable.

    They will survive, don’t doubt that. The army is only targeting one agency, while they are very much at large in other agencies and the remaining parts of mainland Pakistan. Their leader Mullah Fazlullah and other senior commanders are allegedly living somewhere in Afghanistan, which means the current operation cannot completely root out terrorists from Pakistan, as we are asked to believe.

    The army, however, is cognisant of the different aspects of the Taliban’s survival strategies. In fact one of the main reasons for the delay, in the North Waziristan operation, was because the army believed that the Taliban could cross the Durand Line into Afghanistan; there, it was believed, they would be taken by other intelligence agencies and used against Pakistan. Pakistan is trying to deal with the Taliban within its territorial boundary.

    Mullah Fazlullah evaded the Swat operation, crossed into Afghanistan and, in later days, became an even greater leader. Pakistan alleges that he is facilitated by Afghan intelligence agency NDS (National Directorate of Security), though Afghans reject these allegations. If he manages to slip into Afghanistan once again, then it would mean that Pakistan will face even more ruthless terrorist attacks in the coming days.

    If the Taliban are not dealt with a fatal blow in the current operation, it will not take them more than two months to get back on their feet. In that case, it will become very difficult for Pakistan to eliminate them, as it is not easy to create such a favourable environment and render such sacrifices continuously. People will stop believing in the significance of a military operation.

    I consider this operation the last major operation against the Taliban. We do not have the resources or the money to conduct such an operation in the future; it is high time every Pakistani realises that they need to back the efforts of their soldiers today more than anything else.

    In this context, I believe that this operation is not going to come to an end soon. Government officials are pledging it will end before the month of Ramazan (which means before July). In all likelihood, this operation is going to be perpetuated and, in corollary, the IDPs will have to stay in camps. I fear it may take Wazirs and Dawars years to return to their homes, just like the Mehsuds.

    Aside from the above mentioned complexities, another major flaw in this operation is that, as usual, it is only against the bad Taliban, like the TTP and affiliated al Qaeda fighters; good Taliban, like the Haqqani Network and Gul Bahadar group are to be spared. Such a discriminatory approach to terrorism in itself perpetuates the problem. It halts the creation of counter narratives, confuses the masses and blurs the enemy. For endurable peace, Pakistan has to bring notable changes in its strategic calculus; it has to give up intentions of interference in its neighbouring countries.

    The Zarb-e-Azb operation may stop terror attacks from occurring in the major cities of the country but it cannot help in bringing peace to the ill-fated Pakhtun land, which has been experiencing ruthless terrorism for decades. Peace in the Pakhtun land should have been the priority of Islamabad but unfortunately, it is not so. Such discriminatory operations are seen by many as efforts to contain the terror within the conflict zone and acquire peace for the bigger cities in Pakistan only. This discrimination has to end if endurable peace is to be maintained.

    However, the above description does not mean that the Zarb-e-Azb operation will achieve nothing. It will disband the TTP for a few months, stop attacks in major cities and will bring down the otherwise increasing graph of kidnapping and extortion in K-P and FATA. It will also assuage the anger of all those families who have lost their loved ones in terrorist attacks. But it cannot bring long-lasting peace.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/22...e-to-pakistan/

  13. #13
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Will Zarb-e-Azb bring peace to Pakistan?

    After much dillydallying, useless discussions and utterly unsuccessful peace talks, Pakistan has, finally, launched a “decisive” operation, code named Zarb-e-Azb, against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in the North Waziristan Agency.

    The Pakistan Army claims that around 180 Taliban have been killed so far, with dozens other captured and their safe havens and ammunition depots taken out, in jet bombings and face-to-face skirmishes. All exit points from North Waziristan Agency have been cordoned off and the Taliban are not being given any opportunity to slip to adjacent areas and elude the fire.

    There is a growing impression that the Taliban have been cornered.

    However, the TTP disputes these claims.

    Through a telephone call to BBC Urdu Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, claimed that so far they have lost just a few fighters and that civilians are being targeted in jet bombings.

    As usual, the main collateral damage in this operation is the local population. The Wazir and Dawar tribes of the North Waziristan Agency have been forced to move to adjoining agencies. So far, some 20,000 people have migrated to adjacent areas of Khost, Paktika and Paktiya provinces of Afghanistan where the Afghan government is reported to have allocated roughly 4.04 square kilometres of land for the tribesmen. Thousands other have migrated to nearby districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, like Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Karak. An approximate 0.6 million people are expected to become IDPs. Camps have been established for them in Bannu district. This time, the government has decided to give Rs7000 to each family, instead of providing them with relief goods.

    Like the Swat operation that took place in 2009, this operation is comprehensive, politically owned by the government and backed by all major political parties. Pakistanis have attached very high expectations to this operation and are hoping to achieve endurable peace as a result.

    This operation will definitely bring some positive changes, yes, but, I think it is unrealistic to hope for sustainable peace from an operation like this. Peace needs a lot more than just a military fight.

    Also, there are many reasons why this operation might not even be as successful as it is deemed to be.

    First of all, this operation was launched after much hue and cry, which might have hinted to the TTP that a storm is coming their way. It is not only understandable – it is highly probable – that the Taliban migrated to safer places in order to survive the operation. They had already claimed, a few days back, that they have displaced their assets. So, the probability of the army attacking a major portion of the TTP is very low.

    Even if they have not been allowed the opportunity to leave the agency, as claimed by the army, it is almost impossible to completely seal the harsh, hilly terrains in the areas, especially when there is a 2400-km-long, almost unmanned border with Afghanistan. In unconventional wars, such guerrillas don’t ingeniously dare to face an established army; they go underground and, later-on, connect with each other, re-establish communication lines and then start their activities again.

    In such operations, an established army is always expected to gain significant success – in terms of reclaiming lost territory, that is, in the very first few days of an operation. While this is, and should be seen as, a victory, militants usually wait for a period of relative calm to prevail so as to make the army feel like it has won and then strike back.

    This is what we witnessed in case of operations like Rah-e-Rast in Swat (2009) and Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan (2009). Recently, we heard that military personnel have been attacked in Swat and a curfew has been imposed in many districts there. And even after so many years, the Mehsud tribe of Swat have been unable to return to their homes. So, in my opinion, don’t pin your hopes on the initial success of the operation; it does not matter much.

    Irrespective of how successful this operation is, the major concern right now is to see how long the Taliban will be kept disbanded, how much time this operation will take, how many of them will be physically eliminated, whether their leaders will be taken out or not and, last but not least, for how long the IDPs will be required to remain in camps. These are very pressing questions that need to be answered.

    As far as the survival of the Taliban is concerned, that is inevitable.

    They will survive, don’t doubt that. The army is only targeting one agency, while they are very much at large in other agencies and the remaining parts of mainland Pakistan. Their leader Mullah Fazlullah and other senior commanders are allegedly living somewhere in Afghanistan, which means the current operation cannot completely root out terrorists from Pakistan, as we are asked to believe.

    The army, however, is cognisant of the different aspects of the Taliban’s survival strategies. In fact one of the main reasons for the delay, in the North Waziristan operation, was because the army believed that the Taliban could cross the Durand Line into Afghanistan; there, it was believed, they would be taken by other intelligence agencies and used against Pakistan. Pakistan is trying to deal with the Taliban within its territorial boundary.

    Mullah Fazlullah evaded the Swat operation, crossed into Afghanistan and, in later days, became an even greater leader. Pakistan alleges that he is facilitated by Afghan intelligence agency NDS (National Directorate of Security), though Afghans reject these allegations. If he manages to slip into Afghanistan once again, then it would mean that Pakistan will face even more ruthless terrorist attacks in the coming days.

    If the Taliban are not dealt with a fatal blow in the current operation, it will not take them more than two months to get back on their feet. In that case, it will become very difficult for Pakistan to eliminate them, as it is not easy to create such a favourable environment and render such sacrifices continuously. People will stop believing in the significance of a military operation.

    I consider this operation the last major operation against the Taliban. We do not have the resources or the money to conduct such an operation in the future; it is high time every Pakistani realises that they need to back the efforts of their soldiers today more than anything else.

    In this context, I believe that this operation is not going to come to an end soon. Government officials are pledging it will end before the month of Ramazan (which means before July). In all likelihood, this operation is going to be perpetuated and, in corollary, the IDPs will have to stay in camps. I fear it may take Wazirs and Dawars years to return to their homes, just like the Mehsuds.

    Aside from the above mentioned complexities, another major flaw in this operation is that, as usual, it is only against the bad Taliban, like the TTP and affiliated al Qaeda fighters; good Taliban, like the Haqqani Network and Gul Bahadar group are to be spared. Such a discriminatory approach to terrorism in itself perpetuates the problem. It halts the creation of counter narratives, confuses the masses and blurs the enemy. For endurable peace, Pakistan has to bring notable changes in its strategic calculus; it has to give up intentions of interference in its neighbouring countries.

    The Zarb-e-Azb operation may stop terror attacks from occurring in the major cities of the country but it cannot help in bringing peace to the ill-fated Pakhtun land, which has been experiencing ruthless terrorism for decades. Peace in the Pakhtun land should have been the priority of Islamabad but unfortunately, it is not so. Such discriminatory operations are seen by many as efforts to contain the terror within the conflict zone and acquire peace for the bigger cities in Pakistan only. This discrimination has to end if endurable peace is to be maintained.

    However, the above description does not mean that the Zarb-e-Azb operation will achieve nothing. It will disband the TTP for a few months, stop attacks in major cities and will bring down the otherwise increasing graph of kidnapping and extortion in K-P and FATA. It will also assuage the anger of all those families who have lost their loved ones in terrorist attacks. But it cannot bring long-lasting peace.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/22...e-to-pakistan/

  14. #14
    Professionals US CENTCOM's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    We hope that the military operation, Zarb-e-Azb is successfully conducted by the Pakistani armed forces. For years the Pakistani military and security forces have endured many casualties in their fight against militants in this area. Attacks such as the one on Karachi airport, near GHQ headquarter Rawalpindi, and various other suicide bombings in mosques are a constant reminder of the need for Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States to work together in defeating a common enemy. Our communication lines with our Pakistani counterparts are strong as we work towards achieving our shared objective of restoring stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Haroon Ahmad
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  15. #15
    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Here’s why Pakistan may not win this fight against the militants

    After many rumours and false starts, and after years of requests from US officials, Pakistan has finally launched a major military offensive in North Waziristan, ground zero for militancy in that country.

    Extremist organisations use North Waziristan as a base for attacks on US forces in Afghanistan and to mount assaults on targets in Pakistan. The remnants of al Qaeda central, including perhaps supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, have a presence there, as do Uzbek extremist groups, one of which claimed responsibility for the recent Karachi airport attack. Even Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American who attempted to blow up Times Square in 2010, received training in North Waziristan. This tribal area is a magnet for militants, local and foreign.

    But while the airstrikes and ground efforts in North Waziristan have been needed, it’s not clear whether this effort can inflict a decisive blow against militancy in Pakistan. Here are four questions that underscore how conditions in Pakistan may be stacked against success:

    1. Will there be a critical mass of militants left to fight?

    The Pakistani government has been hinting at the likelihood of an operation since January. In the five months since then, Pakistani Taliban and other militants have had ample opportunity to escape to other tribal areas in Pakistan or even into Afghanistan.

    2. Will international forces in Afghanistan be able to assist?

    Pakistani officials have asked international forces in neighbouring Afghanistan to help prevent militants from crossing the porous border into that country. But with the foreign presence in Afghanistan on track to diminish over the next few months, it’s not clear whether foreign troops will have the capacity to offer such assistance—and, if they do, they’ll need help from Afghan security forces, which have an uneasy relationship with the Pakistani security establishment.

    3. Will this operation target militants across the board or only the Pakistani Taliban and its allies?

    Pakistan has long distinguished between “good” and “bad” militants: It considers the Pakistani Taliban, which targets the Pakistani state, “bad”; the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network, which strike Afghanistan and US and Indian interests in that country, are “good”. All of these groups are based in North Waziristan, but if Islamabad targets only the “bad” militants, the operation’s success will be limited.

    4. Will this operation include associated efforts outside Waziristan?

    Militancy in Pakistan is no longer restricted to tribal areas. Thousands of militants have set up shop in cities. In the absence of stepped-up law enforcement efforts and other civilian-led security missions in urban areas, a Waziristan-only operation cannot root out militancy on a national level.

    And that bodes poorly for the ultimate prospects of this much-needed offensive.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/22...the-militants/
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  16. #16
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    Re: Here’s why Pakistan may not win this fight against the militants

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif has said that we will try to end the Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Wazristan as soon as possible.


    While expressing his views in a talk show on a private TV channel, he said North Waziristan became the hub of terrorism and terrorists started treating it like a home.

    He further said that even other countries were not safe due to terrorist activities.

    We are working on moving citizens from North Waziristan to a safe place and our target is to ensure that Internally Displaced People (IDP) don’t stay away from home for long.

    Pakistan Army has launched an operation named Zarb-e-Azab in North Wazristan area of Pakistan to eliminate militants for good.

    The operation started after Jinnah International Airport in Karachi was attacked by militants recently.
    source:http://www.thenewstribe.com/2014/06/...-khawaja-asif/
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  17. #17
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Re: Here’s why Pakistan may not win this fight against the militants

    The fact is if the army has the will then they will defeat the vermin. Simple

  18. #18
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Fascinating that they suddenly know where all the hideouts are.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member kashifraza's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Zarb-i-Azb: At least 12 militants killed; 200,000 civilians fled

    BANNU: Pakistan Army’s Cobra gunship helicopters pounded three militant hideouts in Qutub Khel area on the outskirts of Miramshah Friday, killing at least 12 suspected terrorists, as the number of civilians fleeing an expected ground offensive passed 200,000.

    “It was an integrated action by cobra gunships, artillery and snipers. 12 terrorists including foreigners were killed in the strikes. Huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed,” said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

    Nearly 150,000 people have left North Waziristan tribal area on the Afghan border this week after the military launched a long-awaited assault against Taliban hideouts.

    The authorities eased a shoot-on-sight curfew on Wednesday to give civilians a chance to leave before troops begin a full-blooded ground operation.

    A senior security official had told AFP earlier that helicopter gunships targeted militant hideouts in an early morning raid, killing up to 20 militants.

    Also read: Zarb-i-Azb: 232 militants killed, 20 hideouts destroyed

    The ISPR statement further said that six fleeing attempts by the terrorists were foiled last night and three locals, who did not have any identity proof, were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon.

    Another 24 suspects, who were trying to flee in the garb of IDPs, have been apprehended at various strangulation check posts in Mirali and Miramshah, it added.

    “Till now 200,000 persons have been evacuated from the area,” said the official military statement, adding that so far 11 families (92 individuals) have been enlisted in the IDPs camp in Bakkakhel of Bannu.

    It also said that 400 Afghan families had left North Waziristan Agency for Afghanistan through Ghulam Khan Border village yesterday. “They were provided all required administrative assistance,” it added.

    “Additional lady searchers (Police), mobile Nadra vans and smart card vans have been placed at IDP registration point to further streamline the registration process at Saidgai registration point.”

    “Total 20 booths i.e. 10 each for male and females IDPs are continuously functioning for expeditious registration and move out of Agency,” said the ISPR press release.

    The military offensive began last week after a bloody and dramatic attack on Karachi airport earlier during the month brought an end to months of largely fruitless government efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    Washington has long demanded action against militant hideouts in North Waziristan, which has served as a rear base for insurgents battling US-led forces in Afghanistan.

    The area, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border, has been an important base for the TTP, which has killed thousands in bombings and gun attacks during its seven-year insurgency.

    The fighting also triggered a huge exodus of civilians from North Waziristan into Bannu, Peshawar and Kohat and across the border into Afghanistan.

    “Some 157,000 people have arrived in Bannu from different areas of North Waziristan,” Arshad Khan, director general of the Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Disaster Management Authority, told AFP on Friday.

    Registration points and camps have been set up to deal with the influx of people in Bannu, but many prefer to travel on to stay with relatives in other areas.

    Thousands of people including women and children were seen travelling to Bannu by foot on Friday morning.



    Women were sitting along the roadsides as vehicles and passenger vans kept moving at a snail's pace in long queues.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114044/zar...civilians-fled
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  20. #20
    Senior Member kashifraza's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Zarb-i-Azb: 232 militants killed, 20 hideouts destroyed

    PESHAWAR: At least 232 suspected militants were killed while 20 militant hideouts have been destroyed in North Waziristan during the Zarb-i-Azb military operation till date, DawnNews reported on Friday.
    Eight security personnel have been killed so far, while seven others were injured during the operation.

    Two major terrorist communication centers located on the hills and a bomb-making factory were destroyed.

    According to military sources, the operation is ongoing in Miramshah and Mir Ali and militants’ attempts to escape have ben foiled. According to ISPR, troops have cordoned off all areas in North Waziristan to foil attempts by terrorists to flee the tribal agency.

    It is expected that the operation will see greater on-ground action in the upcoming days.

    The army launched its long-awaited major operation 'Zarb-i-Azb' in the tribal region a week after an attack on the airport in Karachi, deploying troops, tanks and jets to the area in the crackdown on the Taliban and other militants.

    The number of registered displaced families has reached 7,031 comprising over 100,000 people. Today is the last day for locals to evacuate the area.

    Hafiz Gul Bahadur announces 'defensive war'
    Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur announced on Thursday to launch a ‘defensive war’ from Friday.

    His spokesman Ahamdullah Ahmadi told Dawn on phone from an unspecified place that the Shura North Waziristan Agency had never been part of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    He said the purpose of the ‘defensive war’ was to avoid losses.

    He said the Shura had not allowed the TTP to use the soil of North Waziristan for its activities.

    Operation Zarb-i-Azb: Interactive map
    Latest: 30,000 soldiers involved in operation - over 230 insurgents killed.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114022/zar...outs-destroyed
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