PM, General Raheel discuss strategy to take out Mullah Fazlullah: sources

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ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed on Tuesday strategy to take out Pakistan’s most wanted terrorist Mullah Fazlullah, according to sources.

The army chief called on the prime minister at the PM House on Tuesday — a day after one of the main executors of the December 16 Peshawar school attack was arrested.

Read: Main executor of Peshawar school attack captured: ISPR

Sources said the two discussed the arrests of Army Public School attackers in both Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan and were keen on capturing Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah dead or alive.

The attack on the army-run school in which 150 people, including 133 children, were killed was claimed by the TTP.

According to the PM House, implementation of National Action Plan, Operation Zarb-e-Azb and return of temporarily displaced persons came under discussion during the meeting.

Read: Afghan chief executive says peace talks could start within ‘weeks’, Taliban deny

The sources went on to add that frequent meetings were being held between the government and Army since the civilian government had surrendered critical internal and external security operations to the Army.

As security cooperation between the two countries increases, developments on Afghanistan were also discussed during the meeting. The premier further apprised the army chief about his telephonic conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday.

Sources said that both Nawaz Sharif and General Raheel Sharif expressed satisfaction over the initiation of talks between Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government and vowed to further facilitate this process.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb

Regarding the ongoing operation against militants in North Waziristan and the rehabilitation of temporary displaced persons, sources said the army chief briefed PM Nawaz about the efforts to prepare a model of  rehabilitation for displaced persons.

The two agreed a few months back the top civil-military leadership approved the Swat Model for rehabilitation of displaced persons in North Waziristan but it needs more funds.

“Federal Minister Ishaq Dar is engaged to provide required amount to Pakistan Army to carry out operation of rehabilitation of displaced persons,” the sources added.

It was further decided Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue for an indefinite time period and gradually its scope would be expanded from tribal areas of country to other parts of the country.

LoC violations

Recent violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary also came under discussion during the meeting.

“Both the premier and army chief agreed to expedite the work of  taking up Indian’s skirmishes on LoC and Working Boundary before the regional and international powers through diplomatic and military sources,” the sources said.

“They said that India will be portrayed as main obstacle in the line of war against terrorism and powerful countries, think tanks would be tried to convince them that India through its interventions in Balochistan and skirmishes at border is engaged to divert Pakistan’s attention from operation Zarb-e-Azb,” they added.

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