AMIR ZAMAN

The armed forces of Pakistan are committed in safe-guarding its geographical and ideological frontiers. The existential wars since independence have cost Pakistan Army thousands of its brave officers and soldiers. Pakistan Army today stands out as the best among the contemporaries due to its high level of professionalism and sacrifices that have been rendered in the defence of its motherland. Especially during the last decade, Pakistan has faced unprecedented domestic and foreign threats and challenges. While keeping an enemy like Indian Army at a distance, Pakistan Army has undertaken various successful operations in FATA / Malakand including Operation Al-Mizan, Rah-e-Rast and Rah-e-Nijat.

During the period when Army was committed in Malakand fighting militancy, terrorists continued to expand their control in FATA. Pakistan Army then conceived a strategic campaign to defeat militancy in the Country with in the perimeters of national strategy. The army started executing the conceived plan to comprehensively eliminate this threat through a gradual approach which aimed at progressively squeezing terrorists / militants within selected areas. As part of the campaign against militants, army successfully conducted 353 major operations, 1027 minor operations and lost over 4000 officers and soldiers with over 14,000 severely injured. With these huge sacrifices, the Army squeezed the militants to a small territory in FATA, mainly in North Waziristan. 

While the Army was conducting operations against militancy in different agencies, TTP expanded its outreach in mainland targeting major cities and important installations. The nation kept bleeding during these years and suffered over 50,000 casualties. Only in 2014, Pakistan suffered 195 casualties in 20 major terrorist acts.

In order to eliminate the menace of terrorism forever from the Country, Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched with complete political backing and support of the nation. Since militancy in NWA could not be treated in isolation, therefore a comprehensive approach was adopted through an integrated security mechanism in which, besides the military operations in NWA, proactive counter terrorism operations are also being undertaken in mainland to forestall any blow back.

Pakistan Army started its operation in Miran Shah Sector that had become the epicenter of terrorism in Pakistan. Charged with highest level of patriotism, the brave officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army started hunting down the terrorists hiding in compounds and hideouts. After clearing Miran Shah, the Army moved towards Datta Khel Sector where its forces faced tough resistance from militants including foreign fighters especially in Boya and Datta Khel. The operation was then expanded towards Mir Ali where militants could not stand the ultimate display of courage and valour by Pakistan Army and, one by one, their strong holds kept falling. During these operations, 910 terrorists have been killed and 112 hideouts have been destroyed.

Parallel to operations in North Waziristan, 2274 intelligence led successful counter terrorism operations were undertaken by security forces across the country in which 42 terrorists were killed and 114 have been apprehended.

Our Army has been successful in clearing five major cities considered as militants’ strongholds that include Miran Shah, Mir Ali, Datta Khel, Boya and Degan. As a major success, Pakistan Army has cleared 88 KM long Khajuri-Mir Ali-Miran Shah-Datta Khel and Ghariom-Jhallar axis. The equipment that has been recovered / destroyed during the operations include small and heavy weapons with tons of ammunition, currency, military equipment and hardware, 27 IED factories, tunnels holding Rocket manufacturing facility, one ammunition factory, sophisticated instruments for preparing IEDs, mass production centre of suicide jackets, mines and state of the art IEDs, and booby trapped weapons.

Pakistan Army has again paid a heavy price in achieving these accomplishments and our 82 brave officers and soldiers have embraced shahadat and 269 are severely injured during different operations conducted all over Pakistan. Since 15 June 2014, 42 brave officers and soldiers in North Waziristan, 23 in rest of FATA and 17 in remaining parts of the country have laid their lives for Pakistan.

Pakistani soldiers draw strength from its nation and its leadership. Without the magnanimous support of the nation, such major successes would not have been possible. Also worth mentioning is the commitment displayed by COAS on different occasions while visiting the forward troops that terrorists will be chased and hunted down across the country till their final elimination.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb will bring the Pakistan Army’s campaign to a logical end wherein TTP as a terrorist entity is dismantled and it does not pose any threat to National Security. Pakistan Army is determined to eliminate terrorists of all hue and colour from NWA.