Army Chief vows not to abandon tribal areas till full normalcy

RAWALPINDI: Appreciating tribesmen for playing a significant role in expelling terrorists from the northwestern areas bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif on Tuesday reiterated not to abandon these areas without bringing them back to normalcy.

“We will never abandon these [tribal areas bordering Afghanistan] areas without fully restoring them to functional normalcy,” said the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) while visiting Mohmand Agency.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, he was given a detailed briefing about progress of stabilisation operations including the ongoing development projects by army engineers.

Speaking to officers and men on the occasion, the COAS appreciated their professionalism, dedication and the sacrifices in fighting terrorism and bringing stability in Mohmand Agency.

Gen Raheel emphasised on the need to follow a comprehensive and uniform reconstruction and rehabilitation policy across Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) after the area has been cleared of terrorists.

He expressed hope that such projects will help root out terrorism on long term basis by providing education and economic opportunities to the youth.

Referring to recently launched cleansing operations by Afghan National Army in area adjacent to Mohmand and Bajaur, the Army Chief hoped that such measures would help check cross border terrorism and underlined the need to further enhance border coordination between the two countries.