375,000 anti-terror operations conducted in last four years: Pakistan Army

This week's meeting will decide whether Pakistan will remain in the grey list of FATF or exit from it
Last Updated 22 February 2021, 14:26 IST

The Pakistan Army on Monday said 375,000 intelligence-based anti-terror operations were conducted in the country in the last four years to reduce urban militancy and dismantle related networks.

Addressing the media on the occasion of Operation Radd-ul Fassad completing four years, Army Spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said Pakistan has come a long way in its fight against militancy and the efforts would continue till the threat was completely wiped out.

The briefing came ahead of a plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for money laundering and terror financing. The Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018.

This week's meeting will decide whether Pakistan will remain in the grey list or exit from it, depending on the level of compliance by Islamabad on the 27 points of a plan of action charted out by the FATF.

Launched in February 2017, Operation Radd-ul Fassad -- which translates to elimination of discord -- is the strategic foil to the military actions against terrorists in their tribal strongholds.

It aims to curtail the freedom and movement of such non-state actors and attack them when seeking refuge after their bases have been destroyed.

"The strategic intent of Raddul Fasaad was, and is, a peaceful, stable and normalised Pakistan where people's confidence in the state is restored and terrorists and extremists are rendered completely ineffective by curtailing their freedom of action," he said.

He said that 375,000 intelligence-based operations had been conducted in the last four years, reducing urban terrorism and dismantling many terrorist networks.

He said that Raddul Fassad helped to establish the writ of the government on 750 sq km, seizing 72,000 foreign weapons, 5 million rounds of ammunition. Over 5,000 threat alerts were issued in this period.

The spokesperson said about 1,850 incidents of terror took place from 2017-2021, while 1,684 cross-border firing incidents were also reported on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Over 350 terrorists have been killed and several hundred arrested as part of Raddul Fasaad, the spokesman said.

“Terrorism support based infrastructure has been greatly damaged but still the threat is not over and will take some time to completely dismantle,” he said.

The spokesperson also said that “while armed forces fight terrorists, terrorism and extremism can only be defeated by the civil law enforcement agencies and society as a whole.”

He said that according to the "whole of nation approach", every Pakistani is a sepoy of Raddul Fasaad.

The spokesperson said Pakistan's grand strategy in its war against terrorism was based on four concepts: "clear, hold, build and transfer."

The period between 2010 and 2017 was the 'clear and hold' phase while Raddul Fasaad was the beginning of the ‘build and transfer' phase.

He said Pakistan was not relenting in its efforts to eliminate militancy and aggressively going against its targets and it took action against more than 78 terrorist outfits.

More than 1,200 militants surrendered in the last four years, he said.

Talking about the loss of lives in the armed forces, he said 450 personnel were killed during the operation.

He acknowledged that terrorists were using social media platforms but the government was aware of it and that action was being taken to tackle the threat.

Taking up bolstering security at the western border, he said 84 per cent fencing of the border with Afghanistan was done, while 43 per cent of the border with the Iran border was completed. “An effective border management system is being introduced,” he said.

He said 717 cases were sent to the military courts in the last four years and 344 terrorists were given death sentences, of whom 58 were executed so far. Another 106 were given life sentences.

(Published 22 February 2021, 14:26 IST)

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