Armed forces of Pakistan have officially launched an offensive in North Waziristan area of FATA. As reported at ISPR website:
DG ISPR has said that on the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan have launched a comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists who are hiding in sanctuaries in North Wazirastan Agency. The operation has been named Zarb-e-Azb.
Using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists had waged a war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property. They had also paralyzed life within the agency and had perpetually terrorized the entire peace loving and patriotic local population.
Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries. With the support of the entire nation, and in coordination with other state institutions and Law Enforcement Agencies, these enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country. As always, armed forces of Pakistan will not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice for the motherland.
The operation started with a nightly bombardment by the PAF:
Today at about 0130 hours, a number of Terrorists hideouts in Degan, Datta Khel in NWA, were targeted by jet aircrafts. There were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked in planning of Karachi airport attack. Reportedly over 50 Terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners are killed in the strikes. An ammunition dump has also been destroyed . More details to follow.
ISPR claimed over 50 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were killed in the air strikes by PAF. Independent source claim the numbers to be near 150. It is strange how ISPR / PAF can be certain that the dead were Uzbek? Have they checked their nationalities from the air?
It is not reported how many of dead were women and children.
As North Waziristan operation is officially launched, government of Pakistan should take serious steps to ensure public safety especially in the major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Islamabad. Time and again we have seen how the state reacts in front of a terror attack, most recent example being Karachi airport attack.
This offensive in Waziristan will bring a fresh wave of IDPs to other parts of Pakistan. They need to be accommodated with care.
Hope the operation will end swiftly and without much collateral damage.