Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa gives his speech on day two of the 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on Feb 17, 2018. (THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the northwest district of North Waziristan, once the safe haven of the terrorist groups, vowing to eliminate terrorism from the country, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has said.
Bajwa addressed a gathering of local tribal elders and appreciated the local population for their support and cooperation for the security forces during the operation
Militant groups used to term North Waziristan, a tribal district bordering Afghanistan, as their headquarters from where they used to launch attacks across Pakistan. An intensive operation started in June 2014 by the Pakistani armed forces to wipe out all such elements and establish peace in the region.
According to the ISPR, the army chief addressed a gathering of local tribal elders on Wednesday and appreciated the local population for their support and cooperation for the security forces during the operation.
He told the tribal elders that terrorism and development cannot go together, urging them to continue to play their role to ensure that the unrest does not return and their area can attain maximum development in the post-militancy era.
"No conflict ends through kinetic operations alone. There is always a post operations rehabilitation and development effort," said the army chief, while stressing on the continuation of the stability operations and progress on the socio-economic sector in the region.
Tens of thousands of local people had to migrate and live in camps in different parts of the country following the launch of the military operations in the region.
Following the success of the operations, the Pakistani government and army have been rehabilitating the area by reconstructing roads, government offices, schools, markets and houses which were destroyed during the operation.
According to the local government in the area, almost all the displaced people have returned to their homes in North Waziristan.
The army chief also observed the progress of setting up a fence along the 2,430 km long Pak-Afghan border to stop the movement of the militants in the hilly border areas.