Up to 93 families relocate to North Waziristan village



BANNU/ISLAMABAD:As a top military commander visited the troops in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on Sunday, as many as 93 displaced families have returned to the Eidak village of agency’s Mirali tehsil.

The families, which amount to more than a thousand individuals, returned after security forces declared the area cleared of militants, an official of the tribal agency’s political administration told The Express Tribune.

“Elders of the village have been holding talks with security forces over the past two days after the area was declared clear [of militants],” the official said. “The elders have assured security officials that they will not allow any militants into the area,” he added.

According to the official, the elders, while assuring their all-out support to the armed forces, pointed out that they had razed militant seminaries and hideouts in the area in the past.

“Following the talks, 93 families moved back from Bannu and other parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to their native areas in the agency,” he said.

Peshawar corps commander visits troops

Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani visited the troops in North Waziristan Agency on Sunday and vowed that the operation will continue till the last terrorist was eliminated from the troubled region. The senior commander is the first high-ranking army official to visit the restive tribal area since Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations statement, Lt-Gen Rabbani visited Miramshah and met the troops fighting what the army has dubbed a ‘battle of survival’ for Pakistan. The statement said the corps commander was given a detailed briefing about the progress of the operation.

Sources said the general was informed that the operation was progressing as planned and security forces continued to strangulate militant hideouts. They added that Lt-Gen Rabbani told the troops that the entire nation was looking up to the armed forces to defeat terrorists.

The general said the army would make sure that the writ of the state was established in NWA in the shortest possible time so that internally displaced persons (IDPs) could safely return to their homes.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the military operation in North Waziristan would continue till terrorism was rooted out from the area.

On Sunday, the minister told reporters the government would take all mainstream parties into confidence on the issue of eradicating terrorism and rehabilitating IDPs.

He added that it was not possible at this stage to give any timeline for the completion of the operation.

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