The targeted security operation in North Waziristan Agency started after a suicide bomber hit an explosive laden truck at an Army check post, which destroyed the check post and the adjacent Masjid, killing 5 soldiers and injuring many on December 18, 2013. Non-state armed groups attacked soldiers involved in the rescue operation after the attack. On December 19, 2013, in retaliation, the military commenced targeted security operation against the militants.
A series of attacks followed including a suicide attack on a military outpost near Mir Ali which resulted in the killing of 23 Frontier Corps Personnel by the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP). Fear of a counter attack by the military resulted in the displacement of 23,061 individuals by February 20, 2014. Most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) moved to their second homes in Bannu or stayed with relatives in the area. The affected area was never notified, thus, those who moved were not entitled to be registered by the Government.
The situation became worse after a series of recent attacks which included the attack on the Karachi Airport for which TTP claimed the responsibility.
In response to these continuous attacks on the government assets and army personnel, a full fledge military operation has been launched by the Pakistan Army. The operation has been named Zarb-e-Azb.
The Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) said that using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists have waged a war against the state of Pakistan and are disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth, and causing enormous loss of life and property.
“They had also paralyzed life within the agency and had perpetually terrorized the entire peace loving and patriotic local population,” he added.
He said, “Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries. He further added that with the support of the entire nation, and in coordination with other state institutions and law enforcement agencies, these enemies of the state will be denied space anywhere across the country.”
The all-important announcement came after overnight air strikes by Pakistani jets that killed more than 50 foreign militants, mostly Uzbeks, in North Waziristan. Strikes took place in the Boya tehsil, Degan forests, and Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan.
After the announcement of the full-scale operation in the North Waziristan area, a security official on ground said that thousands of troops, roughly estimated 25,000 to 30,000 will be involved in the operation.
As of June 9, 2014, 37,148 individuals had already been displaced to Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, and Kohat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while other displaced population have migrated to Afghanistan. As a consequence to the operation, a huge amount of people are expected to leave their areas. The number is expected to increase rapidly with the new development which will require a prompt and efficient life-saving humanitarian response.
CWS-P/A is in contact with the local partners and concerned authorities. CWS-P/A emergency response team is on standby and ready to start its relief activities in case there is need to respond to the situation.