The Commandant of the Khyber Rifles, Col Tariq Hafeez, has said that Khyber-Two military operation against Taliban and other terrorist groups hiding in different parts of the Tirah valley would begin next month.
Speaking to journalists at an army camp here on Tuesday, he pledged that security forces would now reclaim all areas at present under the control of several outlawed militant groups in Khyber Agency and Fata. “We will not spare anyone and will go after them no matter where they are hiding and will smash their operational structure to reduce their striking capability,” he said. Col Hafeez said that with the arrest of 25 hardcore terrorists, security forces had achieved much of the objectives of the Khyber-One operation. He said that security forces were now determined to annihilate all anti-state elements operating on Pakistan’s soil. Referring to escape of some leaders of Bara-based outlawed groups to Afghanistan, he said that those who were not sincere to their own motherland could not be sincere to anyone.
Col Hafeez said that a new computerised screening system would be installed at the Torkhum border in March to maintain a scientific data of all those going to and coming from Afghanistan. With the installation of the new screening system, he said, chances of entry of terrorists from Afghanistan would be greatly minimised. He said that security of all educational institutions had been strengthened in Landi Kotal and Jamrud with the help of local political administration and tribal elders. He urged media to highlight gains made by security forces in the military operation against Taliban and other militant groups and portray the softer image of the region to the outside world. Col Tariq Hafeez dispelled the impression that security forces were interfering in tribal issues and clarified that they intervened only when they were approached by the political administration and jirga of local elders for resolution of any dispute.