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Pakistan forces launch ‘indiscriminate’ anti-terrorism drive nationwide

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was announced after a series of suicide attacks in the country, which have resulted in over 100 deaths.

world Updated: Feb 23, 2017 06:56 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan,Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,Qamar Javed Bajwa
Bodies of alleged militants killed in an operation by security forces at a Karachi mortuary.(AP)

Pakistan on Wednesday launched a countrywide, multi-agency drive to “indiscriminately” eliminate remnants of terrorism, a military statement said.

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was announced after army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa met the corps commanders of Punjab, the director general of Pakistan Rangers Punjab, and the heads of intelligence agencies.

It comes in the wake of a series of suicide attacks in recent days, including on a Sufi shrine and a court complex, claiming more than 100 lives.

But observers said the operation is not expected to target India-centric groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

“The operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far and further ensuring security of the borders,” said a statement issued by the military’s media arm.

Pakistan’s air force, navy, civil armed forces and other security and law enforcement agencies will jointly participate in efforts to eliminate terror from the country in the drive, whose name roughly translates to “operation to eliminate discord”.

“The effort entails conduct of broad spectrum security/counter terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management,” the statement said.

“Countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort.”

The army has the go-ahead of the country’s political leadership.

It is expected that the activities of militant groups, many of whom are based in South Punjab, will be targeted in this operation.

First Published: Feb 22, 2017 20:11 IST