Pak onslaught against Taliban kills 80

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2014 23:36 IST

Pakistan’s army launched a highly anticipated operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in North Waziristan on Sunday after getting the go-ahead from all stake holders, including PM Nawaz Sharif, killing at least 80 insurgents including those linked to a brazen attack on Karachi airport.

“All sections of the government are on board with this operation” defence minister Khawaja Asif told newspersons on Sunday. Asif said that the operation will end “after it reaches its logical conclusion.”

The operation has been launched one week after terrorists tried to storm Karachi Airport in an incident that killed over 30 people. Local security officials put the death toll far higher, saying that about 150 militants died in the air strikes. A military official in Miranshah said the alleged mastermind of the Karachi attack was among the dead. “Abu Abdul Rehman Almani, who was mastermind of attack on Karachi airport, and several others have been killed,” he added.

The operation has been named “Zarb-e-Azb” said a press release issued by the army. The press release said that, “On the directions of the Government, the armed forces of Pakistan have launched a comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists who are hiding in sanctuaries in North Waziristan Agency.”

The meaning of Zarb-e-Azb is sharp and cutting. It’s reportedly the sword used by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the battle of Badar. “Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and colour, along with their sanctuaries,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan issued a statement in which the renewed their offer of peace talks. A spokesman of the militant group said that it had again made proposals to the government to resume talks.

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