ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif yesterday said that Pakistan Army has cleared 650 square kilometres of uncontrolled area in the final phase of operation in Shawal Valley.

During his daylong visit to North Waziristan Agency on Tuesday where the army chief spent the day with troops and tribesmen, he expressed his complete satisfaction over progress of concluding phase of the operation in Shawal.

During a briefing, General Raheel vowed to continue operations till total elimination of hideouts and curse of terrorism and extremism from across the country.

He appreciated the intelligence agencies for matching pace of busting sleeper cells in urban centres in rest of the country.

Talking to troops on the occasion, the COAS commended the spirit of sacrifice displayed by them in the Shawal Operation under harsh weather conditions and treacherous terrain.

The army chief was also briefed on the ongoing rehabilitation work and its effects on the socio-economic landscape of the area. He directed all concerned to further boost the pace to meet timelines and ensure a dignified and early return of TDPs to a better built area.

Later, the COAS interacted with tribal elders and recently returned TDPs and assured them that the Army will continue to remain in the area till completion of resettlement process.

Tribal elders paid rich tributes to Army for successful operations and affirmed that with the help of the Army, they will never allow these terrorists to return to their area.

The army chief also laid foundation stone of state-of-the-art Younas Khan sports complex at Miranshah for the youth, to be constructed by Army engineers. Renowned cricketer Younas Khan was also present on the occasion, as the complex has been named after him.

Later, the COAS had a round of under construction Miranshah Bazaar and appreciated Army engineers for their dedicated efforts in executing quality construction work.

Earlier on arrival, the COAS was received by Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Hidayatur Rehman.