ISLAMABAD: Following a wave of terrorist strikes across Pakistan, the army launched a countrywide offensive against militants on Wednesday, stating that the action was aimed at rooting out their scourge once and for all and consolidating the gains made through other military operations in recent years.
Named ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ (elimination of discord – in this case terrorism), the operation will include the widest possible security and counterterrorism operations in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populated province. The ongoing operations across the country will continue as usual. More than a 120 people have been killed in the last one month in terror attacks.
“The operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far, and further ensuring security of the borders,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media arm, said. It said Pakistan Air Force, navy, Civil Armed Forces (CAF) and other security and law enforcing agencies (LEAs) would actively participate in and intimately support the armed forces in eliminating the menace of terrorism from the country.
“The effort entails conduct of broad spectrum security/counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country, and focus on more effective border security management,” the presser said.
Vowing a de-weaponisation drive across Pakistan, the statement said that pursuance of the national action plan (NAP), formed after over 140 people, nearly 125 of them kids, were killed in the 2014 attack on school in Peshawar, would be features of Radd-ul-Fasaad. “Country wide de-weaponisation and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort. Pursuance of NAP will be the hallmark of this operation,” it said.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of Pakistani Taliban, has claimed responsibility for many of these attacks, including a blast in Lahore which killed 14 people. The deadliest of all these assaults, however, was the suicide bombing Lal Shabaz Qalandar shrine for which the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility. Around 90 people were killed.