Pakistan launches offensive against IS near Afghan border

Posted July 17, 2017

Pakistan Army on Sunday said it had no "direct" involvement in the ongoing investigation by a Supreme Court-sanctioned joint investigation team (JIT) into business dealings of the ruling Sharif family through offshore concerns.

"It is a sub-judice matter and the Supreme Court will make its decision in the case", he added. The members of the JIT have worked with "honesty" and "dedication", he said, in reply to another question.

There is no timeline for the operation as yet, Ghafoor said in response to a question. "I have shown you what the army is doing".

He said that Pakistan Army is a part of Pakistan and is working for the country's defence.

DG-ISPR Asif Ghafoor said that the military court had rejected Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav's first appeal. He assured that the decision of the Army Chief will be based on justice. Speaking on the Raymond Davis issue, DG-ISPR he said that Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was not the only institution involved in the matter.

Khyber 4 seeks to target terrorist hideouts in what the DG ISPR called "the most critical area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)".

Major General Asif, however, admitted that the presence of Daish is increasing in the areas adjacent to Afghanistan, and did not negate the possibility of alliance of Daish with some components of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

He added that terrorism in Karachi has gone down by 98 percent.

It seemed that many of questions were fed to JIT by someone, he said. He said Afghan forces will have to strengthen its footprints on its soil to check the influence of terrorist outfits like DA'ISH.

He clarified that carrying out joint operations by the security forces was meant to undertake offensive against the terrorists within their respective territorial jurisdictions by sharing intelligence reports with each other and sealing the border so that to check infiltration of terrorists from and to either side. "But, no other force will ever have boots on the ground in our country".

However, Ghafoor denied that Daesh has any organised structure present within the country. But, Daesh as an organisation does not exist here.

"This operation was necessary because Daesh is getting established there and we have to stop the influence of Daesh spreading into Pakistani territory through the Rajgal valley", Ghafoor said, referring to a valley surrounded by mountains reaching up to 14,000 feet.

Ghafoor said across the Khyber border there are safe havens for multiple "terrorist" organisations that are linked to recent attacks in Pakistan, including the Parachinar assault. He said Pakistan believes in an open door policy with Afghanistan. "No one wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan". He said army has launched 46 major operations in the country and over 9,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs) under Operation Raddul Fasaad. He said on average there will be a fort or check post after every 1.5 kilometres. In 2013, there were 201 sectarian attacks, which have now fallen to "only two sectarian attacks" this year.

Earlier, paramilitary Sindh Rangers Director General (DG) Maj-Gen Mohammed Saeed said that Karachi has reclaimed it status as the city of lights, which is flourishing and the citizens are no longer afraid for their lives.

In Punjab, there have been six major operations and over 7,000 IBOs in which 22 terrorists were killed, he said. Thirteen major operations and over 800 IBOs were conducted in Balochistan.

Elaborating situation on the Line of Control, Asif Ghafoor said India is committing massive ceasefire violations on LOC to divert world attention from the grave human rights violations and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris in the Occupied Kashmir.

There were 382 in 2016, 248 in 2015 and 315 in 2014, he said.