One year of Zarb-e-Azb: A war against terrorism

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One year of Zarb-e-Azb: A war against terrorism

Islamabad, Pakistan: Despite having a soft corner for terrorists outfit of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistan had to launch full fledge war against TTP on June 15, 2014 after horrific attack of Pakistan-born Uzbek terrorist outfit on Karachi Airport on June 8, 2014. Around 2000 security persons fought back only 11 terrorists for over 10 hours and at last recovered airport by afternoon of June 9, 2014.

Political leadership delayed the action against terrorists for over four months as Prime Minister Mian Nwaz Sharif, religious parties in parliament, provincial government of KPK and chief of PTI Imran Khan were of the view that TTP terrorists were “sons of soil” and peace agreement could be sign with them instead of taking military action though TTP was killing people all over the country almost every day.

Terrorists attack on Karachi Airport caused a massive damage to airport and to some planes that were parked on tarmac
Terrorists attack on Karachi Airport caused a massive damage to airport and to some planes that were parked on tarmac


Karachi attack timing was intriguing because government of Mian Nawaz Sharif was bent upon to reach a peace accord with TTP and negotiations were underway at top level team of Prime Minister headed by Interior Minister Ch. Nisar. This attack jolted trust of Prime Minister and armed forces over negotiation team. The direct and real targets of TTP were law enforcing agencies, particularly soldiers of Pakistan. TTP attacked twice on General Headquarters of Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi and Pakistan Army wanted to initiate action against TTP but was waiting for official permission from government while government under the alleged influence of some Muslim countries was trying to resolve issues with TTP through dialogue.

On June 15, 2014, Pakistan Army launched a military operation namely a ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ to end militancy in the country and this operation was a surprise for all who were talking about dialogue and negotiations with terrorists.

Till today, a total of 2,763 terrorists while 347 Pakistan Army officers and soldiers have so far been killed in the volatile North Waziristan tribal region since June 14 last year when the Pakistan military launched a full-fledged operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in the area to end militancy in the country.

On the completion of one year of Zarb-e-Azb, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday issued the casualty figures occurred during the operation, saying that significant achievements have been made in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) especially in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies.

The ISPR said that the military operation Zarb-e-Azb has moved to last few pockets close to the Pak-Afghan border. It said that so far 2,763 terrorists have been killed, 837 hideouts destroyed and 253 tons of explosives recovered during the last one year of the operation.

It said that terrorists’ communication, infrastructure and sanctuaries havelargely been cleared as a result of Zarb-e-Azb.

The Pakistan military’s media wing said that 9,000 intelligence based operations were carried out in the tribal areas, apprehending thousands of terrorists and their abettors.

The ISPR further said that 218 hard core terrorists were also killed in cities when the operation against militants were expanded to urban areas.

Moreover, it said that 18,087 weapons including machine-guns, light machineguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and AK-47s were seized from terrorist hideouts in North Waziristan alone.

The ISPR also said that the as a result of Zarb-e-Azb, some other noteworthy successes were also achieved which included improvement of security environment in Pakistan, arrival of foreign dignitaries including the ChinesePresident Xi Jinping to Pakistan, launching of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the revival of international cricket in Pakistan with the Zimbabwe tour.

It also expressed the resolve to continue the operation Zarb-e-Azb to make Pakistan a terror free country.

On June 14, 2014 the Pakistan armed forces began a joint military offensive ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ against various militant groups including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network in North Waziristan agency as a renewed effort against militancy following an attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.