Islamabad: The Pakistan Army has said that the footprints of the Islamic State (IS) militant group have been eliminated from the country.
“They tried [sneak] into Pakistan but failed and [were] apprehended,” Dawn online quoted Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa as saying on Thursday.
As many as 309 IS militants have been arrested so far, including 25 Afghans, 127 other foreign nationals and 157 “freelancers” and fighters from small groups.
According to Bajwa, major terror attacks planned by the IS on targets, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign embassies, consulates and their staff, the Islamabad airport, prominent public figures, media persons and law enforcement personnel, were averted.
“A proactive approach and the efforts of the law enforcement agencies have forestalled the threat of Daesh for the time being and the network has been busted.”
“The threat is not over yet as their presence in the neighbouring Afghanistan is still [something] we are worried about,” he said.
Bajwa said the IS was operating in some parts of eastern Afghanistan and could try to enter Pakistan.
While commenting on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks during India visit in which he urged Islamabad to push harder against militants hiding within its borders, Bajwa said operation Zarb-e-Azb was indiscriminate and against terrorists of all hues and colours.
“We have no favourites,” Bajwa said, rejecting the dichotomy of the “good” and the “bad” Taliban.
According to Bajwa, since the launch of the operation, terrorist incidents in Karachi had declined by 74 per cent, while target killings, extortion and kidnappings declined by 94, 95 and 89 per cent respectively.