Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said, “Operation Khyber- 4 has been launched in Rajgal which, along with a similar size area in Shawal valley, is one of the pockets that remain to be cleared”. DG ISPRalso said, “expanding footprint of Daesh on the other side of the border has necessitated the operation to prevent it’s influence from penetrating this side of the border”. He addressed a press conference at the ISPR office.
Rajgal valley borders are close to Nangarhar province of Afghanistan where ISIS established itself (claimed media reports), it is feared that it may connect with extremist groups. This year’s three attacks in Parachinar gave hint of what could happen if the area is left unattended.
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said “after clearing the hideouts, the international border with Afghanistan would be secured”. Pakistan is already building a fence along the border to prevent unauthorized cross-border movement, besides strengthening surveillance of the border with additional check-posts and technical monitoring. We believe that this is time which needed Pakistan and Afghanistan cooperation because ISIS is a serious threat to both countries. Although, track record of neighbour country Afghanistan is not good considering the recent past but we are sure that while new Trump’s administration is planning to change its policies about Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will be impossible for Afghan Government to avoid new strategy which is drafting by Trump’s national security advisor H.R.McMaster.
Therefore, we also believe that new United States administration once again will demand “do more” and will also build the pressure to release Dr. Shakil Afridi from Pakistan. How, Pakistani authorities handle the situation, time will tell but need to be well prepared.
Pakistan and Afghanistan should work side by side to eliminate growing threat of ISIS in the region.
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