- First time in recent years, military publicly cites Indian spy agency as behind terrorism in Pakistan
- COAS emphasises continued precision targeting of terrorists squeezed in isolated pockets in FATA
- Operation against terrorists expanded to their abettors and facilitators
For the first time in recent years, Pakistan’s top military commanders on Tuesday publicly accused premier Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of “whipping up terrorism” in Pakistan.
The statement, released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), comes days after a senior police officer in Karachi arrested two Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers for allegedly inciting violence at the behest of RAW.
Addressing a corps commanders’ conference at the General Headquarters, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said, “Terror free Pakistan is now a national resolve. The surge against terrorists and criminals is apolitical, across the board and focused to achieve peace in the country.”
Grieving the deaths of thousands of innocent Pakistanis, including children, at the hands of terrorists, the army chief said, “Law enforcement agencies and our brave armed forces have given a lot of sacrifices in fighting these misguided and hardened criminals to safeguard a peaceful and better future for our next generation.”
“These sacrifices will not go to waste. We will take this war to its logical conclusion. Dignity and honour of our country, its people and gallant armed forces will be safe guarded at all costs,” he added.
Further, Gen Sharif said, “With the overwhelming support of the entire nation, Operation Zarb-e-Azb has inflicted significant damage on terrorists.”
“Emphasising the continued precision targeting of terrorists squeezed in isolated pockets in FATA, COAS directed all concerned to intensify IBOs [Intelligence Based Operations] against criminals, terrorists and their abettors in urban areas for enduring peace in the country,” the ISPR statement added.
The statement further said, “Professional matters were discussed during the meeting. Participants also dwelt at length on internal and external security situation in the country and reviewed progress of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and ongoing IBOs in the country.”
Meanwhile, a source in the military establishment told Pakistan Today that the high-level huddle had also decided to expand the operation against terrorists and crime mafias to the abettors and facilitators of such elements. “Abettors and facilitators would also be treated as hardcore terrorists,” the source added.
Asked whether it was a Karachi-specific decision or it would be expanded to all parts of the country, the official said it would be implemented “without any discrimination of cast or creed”.