The Pakistan military on Tuesday formally announced its victory against the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan in the country's restive northwest and stressed on the need for the civilian government to take control of these areas.
The announcement was made during a briefing for the Senate Defence Committee at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi that was attended, among others, by Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and committee chairman Lt. Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi.
A committee member told Online news agency that Kayani replied to the questions of committee members for an hour, while the Director General Military Operations, Maj. Gen. Javed Iqbal, gave a detailed briefing about the operations in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the tribal areas.
The committee was told that more than 10,000 army officers and soldiers, as also paramilitary troopers and civilians, had lost their lives in the military operations and more than 20,000 had been injured.
However, terrorism had been rooted out from Swat and South Waziristan, the army asserted.
The operations began on April 26, 2009 after the Taliban reneged on a controversial peace deal with the NWFP government and instead moved south from their Swat headquarters and occupied Buner, which is just 100 km from Islamabad.
The operations had begun in Lower Dir, the home district of Taliban-backed radical cleric Sufi Mohammad, who had brokered the peace deal and who is the father-in-law of Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah. They later spread to Buner and Swat - and to South Waziristan in July 2009.