Major General Asif Ghafoor urges citizens to combat radicalization of nation’s youth
Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Monday said Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesman for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban, had surrendered to security personnel.
Addressing a press conference on the ongoing military operation, the Inter Services Public Relations director-general said that more information on Ehsan’s detention would be shared with the public as it becomes available. “There is no greater achievement for Pakistan than our former enemies turning themselves in,” he said, adding Radd-ul-Fasaad would continue until the country had been rid of all terrorists, their abettors and sympathizers.
The military spokesman said that over 4,000 intelligence-based operations had been carried out across Pakistan since Radd-ul-Fasaad launched on Feb. 22. The operations had netted over 5,000 suspects and 1,859 unregistered Afghan nationals, he added. He said 4,083 weapons and 622,191 ammunitions were had been recovered and 108 terrorists killed in the operations thus far.
Commenting on fencing the Pak-Afghan border, Ghafoor said the project was ongoing and would be completed in phases. In the first phase, the area linking Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province with Afghanistan would be fended, while in the second, the area linking Balochistan would be tackled.
The major-general also showed a recorded confession from Naureen Leghari, a medical student from Hyderabad who was captured in Lahore after allegedly joining the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
Leghari was arrested on Friday following a military raid that resulted in the death of her husband. “[She] went missing from Hyderabad. Later, she pledged allegiance to I.S. in a message posted on Facebook,” said Ghafoor.
In the video, Leghari said she had traveled to Lahore of her own free will and had no been abducted by any groups. “Our plan was to carry out terrorist activities,” she said, “including suicide attacks and kidnapping intelligence officials.”
Leghari added that her group had been deployed to stage a suicide attack at a church in Lahore on Easter.
The military spokesman said that Pakistan’s large youth population was a tempting target for terrorist outfits and urged parents to monitor their children for any hints of radicalization. “Please keep an eye on your children to make sure you know what they are involved in,” he said.