ISLAMABAD: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Monday explained the importance of Operation Raddul Fasaad, wherein the civil law enforcement agencies and society as a whole have a pivotal role to play in the fight against terrorism.
During a press conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the ISPR DG shared the details about the dividends earned through the operation that was launched on February 22, 2017, by the army under Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
He said that the strategic intent of Operation Raddul Fasaad was to ensure a peaceful and stable Pakistan. Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the armed forces and the masses have been successfully facing national security challenges and will continue to tackle them as a nation in the days to come.
He maintained that “every Pakistani is a sepoy of Raddul Fasaad”. He further explained: “While armed forces fight terrorists, terrorism and extremism can only be defeated by the civil law enforcement agencies and society as a whole.”
Major General Babar Iftikhar said that a total of 375,000 intelligence-based operations were carried out across the country since the start of the operation in 2017. He said the state writ was restored over 7500 square kilometres through this operation.
“Operation Raddul Fasaad was launched with a two-pronged strategy involving the counter-terrorism and counter-extremism domain,” he added, wherein one prong focused on counter-terrorism and the other focused on violent extremism.
The ISPR DG said that 353 terrorists were killed and hundreds of others were arrested during the operation.
He stressed that most of the over 5,000 threat alerts were neutralized before their materialization during the last four years. He said that over 72,000 illegal weapons and five million ammunition were recovered. He added that 497 border posts were set up. He further said that demining was also carried out in tribal districts.
Under capacity enhancement of law enforcement agencies, Major General Babar Iftikhar said 58 new wings of FC were raised and 15 others will be established. He said that police and Levies personnel were also trained.
The ISPR DG said that 96 per cent of temporarily displaced persons have returned to their homes.
He said that several steps were taken under the National Action Plan, including the setting up of military courts. He also said that 717 cases were referred to the military courts. He said 344 terrorists were awarded death sentence in these cases, and 58 of them were implemented. He said 106 other terrorists were given life imprisonment.
Major General Babar Iftikkar said that over 1,200 sub-nationalists have laid down their arms before security forces. He said that the spread of hate-speech was also controlled considerably.
He also said that the initiative of Paigham-e-Pakistan has considerably helped control extremism in the country, and the religious scholars have played an important role in this regard. He further said that under de-radicalisation, over 5,000 people have been reintegrated into society.
Operation Raddul Fasaad has contributed a lot to improve the law-and-order situation in Karachi as well, he maintained. The military’s spokesperson said that the city’s position on Crime Index has dropped from sixth in 2014 to 106 today. He said that socio-economic dividends of the operation have been witnessed in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“In these four years, more than 5,000 threat alerts were issued and the majority of them were neutralised before they materialised. During Raddul Fasaad, the Khyber-IV operation was also carried out, which was aimed at clearing the Rajgal valley and making the Afghan border safe,” he stressed on the occasion.
He said that 831 development projects worth over Rs31 billion are being carried out there. He said several development projects are also being implemented in Balochistan. He added sports activities have also been restored across the country.
The ISPR DG said that 23rd March will be celebrated with zeal and zest. He said that a national parade will be organized on the day to disseminate the message of “one nation, one destination”.
To a question, he said that the country’s peace is directly linked with peace in Afghanistan. He also said that Pakistan wishes to see peace beyond borders especially in Afghanistan. He further said that Pakistan will continue its support in this regard.
He added that Pakistan’s “grand strategy” in its war against terrorism was based on four concepts: “Clear, hold, build and transfer.”
“One thing is clear that an ideology can be countered can only be countered by a superior ideology or superior argument as we say.”
The ISPR DG said that “our enemy is engaged in a massive campaign of fifth-generation warfare to obstruct Pakistan’s road to prosperity”. Expressing satisfaction over the governmental measure to deal with new hybrid warfare, he called for national unity and cohesion in defeating the enemy’s designs in this regard.