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Reports of ISI chief being replaced are baseless : DG ISPR

The director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar, on Monday dismissed reports that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief was being replaced, saying “don’t speculate further”.

In a press conference here earlier today, a reporter while speaking to Maj Gen Iftikhar mentioned that numerous matters, including the “DG ISI’s appointment, Gen Asif, and talk about Gen Faiz”, were being discussed on social media.

“Is there any expected move in the near future? Or are these reports not based on truth,” the reporter asked.

The Pakistan Army spokesperson underscored that there should be no speculation about these things. “An officer completes their term after being appointed at a senior level in the Army,” he said.

“These are baseless speculations and I request you not to think about these things nor should there be any speculation about these things,” he added. “Appointments in the Army, as an institution, and especially on a senior level are not this short-lived and everyone completes their tenure.

During the presser, the ISPR chief briefed reporters about achievements in counter-terrorism measures taken by the forces in recent times.

Giving an overview of the dividends earned through Operation Raddul Fasaad, which was launched on February 22 (today) four years ago, the DG ISPR said this operation was not area-specific and its domain extended to the entire country.

“The strategic intent of Raddul Fasaad was, and is, a peaceful, stable and normalised Pakistan where people’s confidence in the state is restored and terrorists and extremists are rendered completely ineffective by curtailing their freedom of action,” he said.

According to a “whole of nation approach, every Pakistani is a sepoy of Raddul Fasaad”, the ISPR chief said.

The operation was started at a time when terrorists attempted to take refuge across the length and breadth of Pakistan after their infrastructure in the tribal areas was destroyed and after they suffered heavy losses in various operations, he said.

“Considering this environment, Operation Raddul Fasaad was launched through a two-pronged strategy involving counterterrorism domain and counter violent extremism,” he said, adding that the basic cardinals of the counterterrorism plan were that the use of power is the privilege of the state only; stability on the western zone through an effective border management system; and ending terrorists’ support base across the country.

He said in the past four years, more than 375,000 intelligence-based operations (IBO) were carried out under Raddul Fasaad in which the CTD, IB, ISI, MI, police, FC and Rangers all played a role. Of these, more than 34,000 IBOs were carried out in Punjab; over 150,000 in Sindh, more than 80,000 in Balochistan and in KP, more than 92,000.

“They include some major and important IBOs as well which helped in curbing urban terrorism and many terrorist networks were broken,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.

“In these four years, more than 5,000 threat alerts were issued and the majority of them were neutralised before they materialised. During Raddul Fasaad, the Khyber-IV operation was also carried out, which was aimed at clearing the Rajgal valley and making the Afghan border safe,” he said, adding that last year in August, an operation was carried out in North Waziristan in a “most inhospitable terrain”

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