ISLAMABAD - The military establishment is planning to conclude the ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation within a month and plans are afoot to repatriate the IDPs to their homes in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), The Nation learnt on Thursday.
According to the military sources, the ongoing operation in NWA is progressing according to the expectations of the army brains and is likely to conclude by the end of this month.
The latest figures of the casualties of terrorists are 607 and over 40 army personnel have embraced martyrdom in this operation that started on 15th of June 2014. More than 80 percent area of NWA has been cleared from terrorists, claims ISPR. It says that at the moment forces are facing no big resistance from the terrorists in the operation-hit area.
According to official and unofficial estimates, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has crossed one million. It will be a hard task for the government to resettle them in NWA and get their demolished houses constructed.
It is widely said that the government would resettle the IDPs in their areas before the start of the winter season. Otherwise another hefty amount of budget would be needed to provide the IDPs with essential items of winter while the government thinks it cannot afford to do so. The IDPs are already facing difficulties during the ongoing rainy season.
Before the start of the operation, the top brass of the military was of the view that the operation would last longer than three months but less than four months, the official sources said. Though the government claims the military operation is across the board against all militant groups, according to the military sources, the main focus of the operation was on the Uzbek terrorists hiding in the tribal belt of the country. Before the launch of the operation, it was being claimed that more than 1,000 Uzbek fighters are present in the country. The statements of ISPR issued during the operation indicate that Uzbek terrorists have been killed in dozens only. A defence analyst claims that most of the terrorists succeeded in fleeing to Afghanistan before the launch of the operation.
According to the details given in the statements of ISPR, a total of 607 terrorists were killed in the operation Zarb-e-Azb. In addition, 104 terrorist hideouts, 30 IEDs making factories, three ammunition manufacturing factories and a number of suicide bomber training centres were destroyed. Many caches of arms, communication equipment and propaganda literature were also recovered.
This correspondent contacted the ISPR authorities to get the details and achievements of the operation, but could not get response.