The security forces on Saturday recaptured Kotkai, the native town of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain and dismantled their network. Majority of the houses in the area were converted into bunkers by terrorists and used as training camp of Qari Hussain for suicide bombers, said ISPR Director General Athar Abbas while briefing media about the ongoing Rah-e-Nijat operation in South Waziristan here.
Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman was also present. DG ISPR said that in last 24 hours Pakistan army killed 21 terrorists, whereas three soldiers were martyred and eight got injured. Security forces have taken complete control of Shishwam and are in the process of securing surrounding heights. The security forces after securing Chalwastai are in the process of securing important height of Tarkona Narai. He said the security forces are clearing the area from IEDs, mines and booby traps.
Local sources have also confirmed that during initial stages October 17-18 in Spinkai/Kund Sector, 80 to 90 terrorists were killed including Uzbeks and other foreign terrorists and 150 were injured. During search and clearance operation at Khaisura village, security forces recovered a number of rifles and 1 x 14.5mm gun from a compound. On main Axis route one ammunition-laden vehicle was destroyed and 3 terrorists killed.
He said the reliable sources have reported that due to the pressure of ongoing operation there has been large-scale desertion among the rank and file of terrorists groups. It has been also reported that terrorists are shaving and trimming their beards to escape from the area. Speaking on the occasion, Kaira said Pakistan Army is successfully conducting the operation and they are on schedule.
He said in the South Waziristan operation the Army is not taking any foreign assistance. He said Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani has clearly said in a high-level meeting on Friday that the government of Pakistan will utilise all available resources to fight the battle against terrorism in South Waziristan region. He said that Gilani has also released Rs 2.5 billion for Fata Secretariat to carry out relief operations. Kaira said Rs 6 billion has already been released to the NWFP for facilitating IDPs whereas more will be released when required.
He said the ex-service men have been hired to train the newly recruited police and all the main training centers of the law enforcement agencies have also been provided to them. Kaira said that 1,180 IDPs has been migrated before the start of this operation. After operation 9,792 have been migrated. However, their registration is in process.
The government has arranged all sorts of help to facilitate the IDPs. Smart card system has also been launched for them. He said about 20,872 people are living in Mehsud area. Regarding threat to media offices by Taliban, Kaira said terrorists are trying to hit soft targets because they have got heavy losses in South Waziristan and are not in a position to retaliate there. Kaira said the nation should remain united and avoid activities that are creating panic among the masses.