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17 July 2017, 12:24 | Darnell Patrick
DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor addresses a press conference in Rawalpindi on Sunday
Daesh's presence across the border is increasing, "necessitating this operation to eliminate influence of Daesh being exported to Pakistan through Rajgal valley", he said, according to the Dawn news agency. A division-plus size force will take part in the operation, he informed, hoping they plan to unilaterally secure the global border, eliminate hideouts, and complete physical hold on Khyber Agency. "But Daesh is gaining strength in Afghanistan".
He said the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) showed extraordinary trends recently, following the hot political situation inside India.
The DG ISPR read out a message from Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa during the press conference: "We are building peace in our country brick by brick and moving from relative stability towards enduring peace".
Current ceasefire violations have resulted in the highest number of civilian casualties than in the past, the DG ISPR said.
He said Pakistan has also made a decision to fence its entire border with Afghanistan and first phase of fencing is underway.
He said Rajgal, spreading over about 250 sq km area and has about 8 peaks, ranging from 12000 feet to 14000 feet, can be called as most hard terrain.
The army and other law enforcement agencies have carried out 46 major operations since the launch of a major operation in February, he added.
"It is the duty of every Pakistani to ensure the supremacy of the law and Constitution", he said in answer to another question.
He said the cases of those 17 terrorists rounded up from Parachinar would be tried in the Military Courts on priority basis.
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"The things are improving and we hope that these will further improve in the days to come", he said.
Construction of the fence has also caused tensions, as Afghanistan does not recognise the colonial-era line as an worldwide border.
There has been a decreasing trend in sectarian attacks, the DG ISPR said.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 27 major operations and 817 IBOs were carried out. He said Pakistan believes in an open door policy with Afghanistan.
Replying to a question on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's case, DG ISPR said the army chief is reviewing the proceedings of the case and will take a decision on Jadhav's mercy appeal on merit.
He said worldwide border with Afghanistan will be fully secured to check infiltration of terrorists and to destroy their hideouts in our side of the border.
He went on to say that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted by the Supreme Court and the representatives of military institutions i.e. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) worked honestly under the apex court's orders.
When asked to comment on a "social media campaign against state institutions", he said "every person has freedom of expression, but any patriot Pakistani can not be part of any negative campaign against the army". "There is no direct army involvement in the JIT" he asserted, adding that the "Pakistan Army will continue playing its role for the security of Pakistan with other institutions".
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