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Saturday, 9 April 2016
SYNCHRONIZED OPERATION BEGINS IN SOUTH PUNJAB
Terrorists and hardened criminals being rounded up by law-enforcement agencies including Rangers, Punjab Police, CTD, assisted by Pakistan army; NSC voices concern over sabotage activities of foreign agencies
Islamabad— Coordinated operation is underway against terrorists, hardened criminals and ferraris (fleeing away terrorists) taking refuge in remote areas of Southern Punjab, the Pakistan Army said on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the law enforcement agencies including Rangers, Punjab police and CTD, assisted by Pakistan army, are carrying out targeted operations in Southern Punjab. These terrorists flee from different parts of the country as a result of successful operation Zarb-e-Azb and took refuge in remote areas of Rohjan, Kache in district Rahim Yar Khan, it added. A paramilitary crackdown had been launched in Punjab on the directions of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif after the deadly Lahore bombing that killed at least 72 people at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park on Easter Sunday last month. A military statement said the decision for operation in the province was taken at a high-level military meeting headed by the COAS, and also attended by DG Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and DG Military Intelligence (MI). According to well-informed sources, the military crackdown was launched against banned terrorist outfits across the country’s most populous province. About ninety five banned outfits are operating in the province on different names despite being proscribed by the government. Meanwhile, National Security Committee of the Cabinet at its fifth meeting on Wednesday voiced serious concerns over the activities of hostile foreign agencies inside Pakistan and discussed ways and means to foil their sordid designs through collective efforts. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who chaired the meeting directed that no leniency should be shown on the matter and the foreign agents, sources said. Last month, the country’s security forces had arrested Indian state terrorist Kulbushan Yadav in an operation in Balochistan and during investigation, the serving RAW officer has so far made startling revelations about the Indian designs to destabilize Pakistan and sabotage the multi-billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The spy had also disclosed presence of many more RAWs agents operating in Pakistan as well as the neighbouring countries. It is in this backdrop, the National Security Committee decided to take up the matter with the fraternal neighbours including Iran and Afghanistan in order to subvert the nefarious designs of India. Pakistan is pursuing the policy of peaceful neighborhood but the Indian side through its actions has also demonstrated to hurt the very interests of Pakistan. The meeting was also briefed on the steps being taken for national security in the country and expressed satisfaction over counter terrorism efforts of the security institutions which have drawn wide and broad appreciation from the international leadership, said press release. The meeting also discussed at length, the deliberations at the recently held nuclear security summit and expressed satisfaction over international acknowledgement of the safety and security standards of Pakistan’s nuclear security regime and the National Command Authority. The armed forces development programme including the procurement of F-16 fighter jets from USA was also discussed. Pakistan will receive these F16 by the end of 2018, said sources. The meeting was attended by Ministers for Finance, Defence, Interior and Information, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Director General ISI, National Security Advisor and other senior officials.