ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday emphasized that the whole nation has rejected the misplaced ideology of the terrorists, ‘who have clearly lost their cause already and are being marginalised’, according to a press release issued by the ISPR.
The chief of army staff visited the headquarters of two infantry divisions headquartered in North and South Waziristan agencies to review the operational readiness of the troops as well as progress on military-run developmental projects in the area. This was his second visit to Waziristan since assuming the army’s command last November.
The army chief reiterated the ‘whole hearted support for tribal brethren’ during his visit to the all important field formations of army, close to the area where it has been engaged in targeted crackdown in the recent days.
“Appreciating the determination and steadfastness of the troops as well as local people, the COAS emphasised that together the whole nation has rejected the misplaced ideology of the terrorists. He reiterated army’s continued support for tribal brethren under all circumstances.
The army chief, according to the ISPR, commended the professional commitment of troops and paid rich tributes to them for their sacrifices in bringing peace and normalcy to the troubled regions.
The army chief’s visit bears significance in the context of the peace talks with Taliban apparently nearing a collapse. The top government functionaries say the peace process is not over but reiterate that the militant violence would be paid in the same coin.
Last Wednesday, the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jointly launched surgical strikes on the militant hideouts in Miranshah and Mir Ali subdivisions of North Waziristan Agency in which up to 60 militants were reported dead. In the military-led ground action that continued for the next three days, up to 80 militants were said to be killed whereas four security personnel were martyred. Top military commanders including Toor Wali and Zamurd Jehan, the close associates of slain military commander Jihadyar Mehsud, were purportedly targeted in the aerial strikes.
According to military sources, the army chief held meetings with the tribal delegates during his visit to Waziristan and heard their problems regarding the displacement of people in the backdrop of military action. The Mehsud tribe delegations from the NWA led by Malik Waziristani and SWA tribal representatives led by the heads of Wazir tribes including Ajab Noor Wazir and Yar Gulkhel held meetings with the COAS, the military officials informed.
According to ISPR, the COAS reviewed the progress on development projects of socio-economic significance being undertaken by the army. He appreciated the quality of work and timely completion. He particularly mentioned the construction of central trade corridor, a 714-kilometre road network linking the Indus Highway and Waziristan agencies with the Afghan Ring Road. He also visited other community development schemes in health, education, water and power sectors launched part of programmes for rehabilitation of the people.
Talking to cadets at the Cadet College Spinkai Raghzai, the army chief said the education projects completed by the army would go a long way to groom a new generation of young Pakistanis from such remote areas and integrate them in the national mainstream.
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