Pakistan Army has won World's largest counter terrorism war with 202,000 soldiers in area bigger than many EU countries

Pakistan Army has won World's largest counter terrorism war with 202,000 soldiers in area bigger than many EU countries

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Army has fought the World's largest counter terrorism war with deployment of over 202,000 soldiers in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Briefing the media Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Faisal said the ongoing counter-terrorism operation Raddul-Fassad which was launched by Pakistan military last year eliminated terrorists especially those belonging to Tehreek-i-Taiban Afghanistan (TTA) and Haqqani Network (HN).

"Actions against HN include rooting out of terrorist camps in Waziristan, blocking medical assistance to terrorists & breaking their financing & training camps," he said.

Faisal said Pakistan continued to prevent suspected TTA and HN elements from using its soil for any terrorist activity in Afghanistan.

He said that 27 individuals suspected of belonging to TTA and HN were handed over to Afghanistan in November 2017.

Faisal also alleged that "tensions and escalation by India at the Eastern border adversely impact our counterterrorism efforts".

Pakistan has deployed 202,000 troops for action against militants, the largest counter-terrorism deployment.

Faisal said effective border management remained one of Pakistan's prime objectives in preventing cross-border terrorism.

"Pakistan has 975 border posts to man Pak-Afghan border; Afghanistan has 218," he said.

He said Pakistan was keen to assist the Afghan government while highlighting that on the southern side of the border, "a stretch of 648 km has no check post on the Afghan side".

"Large swathes of ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan are leaving a vacuum for safe havens and terrorist sanctuaries to flourish and launch attacks on Pakistan. Incidence of crossborder terrorist attacks from Afghanistan has increased since 2016, and peaked to 417 in 2017," he said.

The spokesman also said that "Pakistan continues to share intelligence with more than 70 countries" and has lost 75,000 civilians and 6000 soldiers to the scourge of terrorism.

He said Pakistan had one of the highest officer-tosoldier casualty rates globally.

Faisal also said his country had suffered economic losses worth USD 123 billions in the war against terrorism.

He also mentioned the recent fatwa jointly issued by 1,829 highly qualified religious scholars, condemning terrorism and declaring it contrary to the teachings of Islam.

"The fatwa outlaws the use of force by individuals or groups to take up arms against state for imposition of Sharia.

The Fatwa also prohibits Pakistani citizens from violating territorial boundaries in the name of helping other armed groups and struggles outside Pakistan, offering intellectual and practical training and recruitment of terrorists," he said.