Army launches Operation Khyber-4 in Rajgal Valley

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"As regards inside Afghanistan, yes, Daesh is getting stronger there, is gaining strength".

He said the Resolute Support Forces in Afghanistan and Afghan authorities had already been informed about the launch of military campaign in Rajgal, with the aim that no terrorist should flee from here to take refuge in the neighbouring country. "There is a coordinated and complementary operation on their respective sides of the border".

Hoping to secure the border unilaterally, he said the operation would not be easy in the area being mountainous and having tough terrain.

This will be the fourth time an operation will displace the people of Khyber Agency since 2014. DG-ISPR Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the Operation Khyber-4 seeks to target terrorist hideouts in the most critical area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

He said about 500 native families of Rajgal had been living in other areas as Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) due to the presence of the terrorists.

"There will never be any foreign boots on our ground", said Maj Gen Ghafoor when talking about collaborative efforts against terrorism on the Pak-Afghan border.

It will be physically and technically monitored, with either forts or a checkpost every 1.5 kilometres, he said.

He said that Pakistan Army cooperated during the census and is also ready to deal with the flood situation. "If the Afghan army was capable then maybe the issue would be resolved sooner", he said.

He also said that 22 terrorists were killed in Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in Punjab.

Pakistan launches offensive against IS near Afghan border

DG ISPR said that Pakistan Army is not directly linked with joint investigation team (JIT).

He said the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) showed extraordinary trends recently, following the hot political situation inside India.

When questioned about the case of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the DG ISPR said that the Research and Analysis Wing agent's mercy appeal is pending before the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa. He assured that the decision of the Army Chief will be based on justice.

He said Rajgal, spreading over about 250 sq km area and has about 8 peaks, ranging from 12000 feet to 14000 feet, can be called as most hard terrain.

At the end of his address, he relayed a message from the army chief: "We are building peace in our country, brick by brick, moving from relative stability towards enduring peace". "There is no direct army involvement in the JIT" he asserted, adding that the "Pakistan Army will continue playing its role for the security of Pakistan with other institutions".

Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor made the announcement while speaking in a press briefing.

IS controls some territory in Afghanistan and has been seeking to strengthen its presence in Pakistan since 2015 when it carried out its first attack in the country. "It is a sub-judice case and will go to court", he said.

"Political talk is in the political domain".

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