Pakistan Army launches operation Khyber-4 in Rajgal Valley

Katrina Barker
July 17, 2017

Pakistan Army has launched a major operation in its volatile tribal areas to stop the Islamic State making inroads into areas bordering Afghanistan, the military's spokesman said on Sunday.

"There is no direct army involvement", stated Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor in a press briefing Sunday.

He said Pakistan has also made a decision to fence its entire border with Afghanistan and first phase of fencing is underway.

He said that the operation would first secure the border near Rajgal Valley and forces would then clear the rest of the area.

The assault named Khyber 4 is part of an ongoing operation "Raddul-ul-Fasad" that was launched in Khyber agency tribal region - one of the semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan that borders neighboring Afghanistan, spokesman Maj.

He said the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) showed extraordinary trends recently, following the hot political situation inside India.

Alongside the border fencing, Pakistan and Afghanistan will maintain an open-door policy for cooperation and discussion on bilateral issues, particularly in order to remove what he said was "a trust deficit" on the Afghan side.

Answering a question about the case of Indian Naval Agent Kubhushan Jhadev, the DG ISPR said, the agent was given time to appeal before the appellate Military Court and after rejection from there the culprit had appealed before the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He added that it Chief of Army Staff is considering the second appeal. Speaking on the Raymond Davis issue, DG-ISPR he said that Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was not the only institution involved in the matter. He added that the Pakistan Air Force is also involved in the operation. Terming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as very critical for the progress of Pakistan, he said that the armed forces would give it complete security and would not let it fail at any cost.

All eyes are fixed on the apex court as the future course of the case is likely to be determined today. However, the investigation team had two members of Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they honestly shoulder their duties.

"The things are improving and we hope that these will further improve in the days to come", he said.

As far as the situation within Afghanistan was concerned, he said that it was a well known fact that the security forces of brotherly and friendly nation were unable to tackle their internal situations.

It seemed that many of questions were fed to JIT by someone, he said.

Maj Gen Ghafoor said shared borders with Afghanistan and Iran will be physically and technically monitored, with either forts or a checkpost every 1.5 kilometre. "We try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum", he added.

He said Rajgal, spreading over about 250 sq km area and has about 8 peaks, ranging from 12000 feet to 14000 feet, can be called as most hard terrain.

Since the launch of Operation RuF, the army has launched 46 major operations in the country and over 9,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs).

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were carried out.

At the end of his address, he relayed a message from the army chief: "We are building peace in our country, brick by brick, moving from relative stability towards enduring peace".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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