DG ISPR denies speculations about changing DG ISI

All Pakistanis are sepoys of Operation Radul Fasaad: DG ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj General Babar Iftikhar on Monday termed rumours about changing DG ISI as “baseless speculations”.

He said that the Raddul Fasaad operation has completed four years and the operation was not area-specific and its domain extended to the entire country.

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, he briefed about achievements in counter-terrorism measures taken by the forces in recent times.

He also said that “All Pakistanis are sepoys of Operation Radul Fasaad.”

The operation was launched on February 22, 2017, by Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa with the strategic intent to normalise the conditions in Pakistan. “We wanted the people to start trusting the nation again and curtail the freedom of expression of anti-Pakistan forces,” he said. Terrorism and extremism can only be uprooted when law enforcement agencies work together with society.

The operation was started at a time when terrorists attempted to take refuge across the length and breadth of Pakistan after their infrastructure in the tribal areas was destroyed and after they suffered heavy losses in various operations, he said.

Our journey from terrorism to tourism was quite difficult. The focus is on Gwadar, K2, and other areas of Pakistan now.

We can meet all our challenges as long as we stick together, he said.

Maj Gen Iftikhar further said that “it is clear that an ideology can only be countered by a superior ideology.”

The implementation of the National Action Plan, bringing the tribal areas into the national mainstream and curbing extremist activities through assisting the government in educational, madrassah and police reforms.

He said Pakistan’s “grand strategy” in its war against terrorism was based on four concepts: “Clear, hold, build and transfer.”

Between 2010 and 2017, various areas were cleared of terrorists after major operations as per the ‘clear and hold’ phase and the writ of the state was being restored in the tribal areas, the DG ISPR said.

In the past four years, more than 375,000 intelligence-based operations (IBO) were carried out under Raddul Fasaad in which the CTD, IB, ISI, MI, police, FC and Rangers all played a role. Of these, more than 34,000 IBOs were carried out in Punjab; over 150,000 in Sindh, more than 80,000 in Balochistan and KP, more than 92,000.

These operations also helped in curbing urban terrorism and broken the networks, Maj Gen Iftikhar said.

Terrorists involved in the attack on a private hotel in Gwadar were killed in Balochistan; a suicide attack on an agricultural university was foiled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the attacks on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and the Chinese consulate in Karachi were foiled in Sindh, he added.

More than 5,000 threat alerts were issued during these four years.

Khyber-IV operation was also carried out during Raddul Fasaad, which was aimed at clearing the Rajgal valley and making the Afghan border safe,” he said, adding that last year in August, an operation was carried out in North Waziristan was conducted in a “most inhospitable terrain”.

More than 72,000 foreign weapons and five million rounds of ammunition were recovered from across the country, DG ISPR said,

Detailing the security situation over the last few years, he said about 1,850 incidents of terrorism took place from 2017-2021, while 1,684 cross-border firing incidents took place on the Pak-Afghan border. During this period, 353 terrorists were killed and several were arrested as part of Raddul Fasaad, he told the media.

Work on the Pak-Afghan border fencing is 84 per cent complete, while on the Pak-Iran border more than 43 per cent of work has been done, Maj Gen Babar said.

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