Operation Khyber-4 successfully completed; CM Shehbaz was real target of Arfa Karim Tower blast: ISPR

  • 52 terrorists killed, five arrested during military operation: Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

RAWALPINDI – Pakistan Army has announced the successful completion of Operation Khyber-4, which was launched on July 15.

“We have achieved our ground objectives in Rajgal and Shawal valley,” Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations, Maj Gen Ghafoor, said in a televised press conference on Monday.

The head of the military media wing stated that two soldiers of the Pakistan Army were martyred and 15 injured in the operation, which was meant to clear out terrorist hideouts from the target areas.

Khyber-IV: Pak-Army launches anti-ISIS operation in tribal areas

Gen Ghafoor further said 52 terrorists were killed and five arrested during Khyber-4 operation by the armed forces in Rajgal Valley in Khyber Agency.

The army’s spokesman also aired a brief documentary of the operation before detailing the progress of Operation Raddul Fasaad across the country.

‘Elimination of evils’: Army launches ‘Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad’ across Pakistan to root out terrorism

The Operation Khyber-4 was launched under Radd-ul-Fasaad, a countrywide anti-terror operation launched by the military to wipe out terrorists. It was aimed at securing the international border with Afghanistan by preventing Daesh and other local militants on Afghan side of the border from infiltration.

According to the DG-ISPR, security forces had recovered several improvised explosive devices during the operation. India-made weapons were also recovered during the operation, he added.

At the time of launching operation Khyber-IV, DG ISPR had said one division troops with support of Pakistan Air Force were taking part in the operation. “Around 500 families had been living in this area, which are currently staying in safer places as Temporarily Displaced Persons,” he added.

Asif Ghafoor further added that 95 per cent of the TDPs have returned to their home after completion of military operation in the valley.

About the Lahore blast near Arfa Karim Tower on Ferozepur Road which left 26 dead including nine policemen and more than 50 others injured, the DG-ISPR said the real target of the terrorists was Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Lahore: At least 26 killed, 53 injured in Ferozepur Road bomb blast

‘No sectarian divide’

The DG ISPR also ruled out a sectarian divide in Pakistan.

During the press conference, the army spokesman also showed the confessions of two arrested terrorists.

The arrested terrorists had attacked a mosque of the same sect which they belonged to and were instructed by their handlers to dress in black clothes.

“We set the place ablaze and opened fire,” said the arrested terrorist commander.

ISPR further said the terrorists had also attacked a mosque in Rawalpindi in 2013.

“These terrorists were linked with a network of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he continued.

‘No civil-military divide’

Responding to media queries, the ISPR chief dismissed the notion that there was a divide between civilian and military institutions, saying the Army is an organ of the state which is not involved in any political matters.

“Difference of opinions can exist just like in a family, but that does not mean there is a divide between the civil and military leadership,” he said in reply to a question.

“There is friction sometimes, but there are no problems between the civilian [government] and the military. It is all part of statesmanship,” he added.

“These problems will not disappear overnight, you need to see how much we have improved compared to the last 17 years. We want to – and are moving towards a Pakistan – where there is peace, stability, rule of law and all institutions work.”

When asked about the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), DG Ghafoor said the army was not associated with any political matter. He added that whatever political statements General (r) Pervez Musharraf made were said by him as a politician.

Referring to Dawn Leaks, Ghafoor said the government has the prerogative to start an inquiry in whichever case it so wishes.