ISLAMABAD  - The National Assembly was informed yesterday that there is no deadline for completion of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb. It will rather continue to nab sleeper cells of terrorists.

In a question put to Minister for Defence by Imran Zafar Leghari, a PPP MNA, the Minister through a written reply informed that the operation will continue to chase the financiers of terrorists in FATA and in the rest of the country. It has been more than a year since military operation code named Zarb-e-Azb was launched by military on June 15 last year aimed at targeting the strongholds of terrorists in FATA and to purge the country of the menace of militancy.

The Question Hour session of the National Assembly did not occur Monday after the Speaker adjourned the proceedings yesterday to pay tributes to Amin Fahim, PPP’s stalwart who died in a hospital on Saturday after a prolonged illness.

However, the written questions and replies put to the House revealed that the military operation has cleared 89 per cent of North Waziristan and 87 per cent of Khyber Agency of terrorists.

The written reply submitted by the Minister for Defence said that during the operation, 13,000 weapons and 180,000 tons of explosives have been recovered besides killing 216 terrorists.

He said it was evident that terrorists will flee towards cities after the military operation was started in FATA.

“Zarb-e-Azb will deal with the menace of terrorism as a whole and, therefore, will continue to nab sleeper cells of militants,” the Minister said in a written reply.

He said there was a need for major politico-administrative initiative reforms and development work in FATA for ensuring durable peace while military carried out intelligence based operation for sustained peace in the Tribal Areas. The Minister said the military took steps for better control of border and facilities for rehabilitation of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs).

He said that Afghan authorities and Resolute Support Mission Headquarters are continuously being pursued to target the terrorists that have fled to Afghanistan.

He revealed that over 10,000 intelligence based operations were conducted in cities and towns throughout the country for locating terrorists.

He said that one of the aims of Zarb-e-Azb was to physically clear the areas that were influenced by terrorists.

The Minister said the areas have been cleared of militants where the writ of State has been established subsequently.