ISLAMABAD - The army will not allow the killing of fellow countrymen and will expose all enablers, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif was quoted as saying during his visit to Shawal area on Thursday.

In a series of tweets, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa said that army chief spent the day with troops engaged in the operation in Shawal area of North Waziristan. At least 203 terrorists have been killed in the multi-pronged operation Shawal valley in North Waziristan. This was revealed in a briefing given to Army Chief General Raheel Sharif during his visit to Shawal where he spent time with troops participating in operation.

The DG ISPR tweeted that the army chief visited a military post located on a 12,000 feet high mountain overlooking the Shawal Valley, where a multi-pronged operation is being carried out to eliminate terrorists.

He said heights of Shawal mountains have been cleared and main features of the valley occupied and are being sanitised.

General Sharif directed troops to comprehensively cleanse the terrorists from their hideouts, isolate them to their size and sever their link with their abettors anywhere. The Army Chief declared that they will not allow anyone to kill our people and children. He said they will expose all faces who helped terrorists at any stage in anyway. The army chief also said that because of the accomplishments of our troops, the army has no match when it comes to the war against terror. He further commended troops for their “extraordinary” achievements in the operations. The operation Shawal was launched last Thursday.

Since May, the military has stepped up operations in the deeply forested ravines of the Shawal Valley – which straddles North and South Waziristan agencies along the border with Afghanistan – and softened militant targets in the valley through continued airstrikes.

The deeply forested ravines of Shawal Valley and Datta Khel are popular smuggling routes between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are dotted with militant bases used as launch pads for attacks on Pakistani forces.

The area is a stronghold of Khan Sajna Said, the leader of a Taliban faction whose name the United States put on a sanctions list of ‘specially designated global terrorists” last year. Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan used to control all of mountainous NWA, which includes the Shawal Valley and Datta Khel, and runs along the Afghan border. But Pakistan Army recaptured most of the region in a major armed operation, codenamed Zarb-e-Azb, which was launched in June 2014.

North Waziristan used to be the Pakistani Taliban’s last key stronghold until the start of the operation. Officials claim that nearly 3,000 militants have been killed since the launch of the offensive. Authorities have now vowed to intensify operations both in the border regions and across the country.