General Raheel Sharif expressed complete satisfaction over the gains and effects of operations.

RAWALPINDI (Web Desk) - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited Shawal area of North Waziristan on Wednesday to review progress of operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported. 

He was received by Lieutenant General Hidayat Ur Rehman, Commander 11 Corps Peshawar.

General Raheel Sharif was briefed by operation commander about operational gains so far and the impending operations.

He was also briefed that the deeply forested ravines of Shawal Valley and area ahead of Datta Khel which have been frequent infiltration routes of terrorists between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is now the last bastion of terrorists left in North Waziristan.

General Raheel Sharif directed to commence forthwith the last phase of operation in North Waziristan which aims at clearing the remnants of terrorists from their hideouts in deeply forested ravines, isolate them and indiscriminately sever their links with their abettors anywhere across the country.

He expressed complete satisfaction over the gains and effects of operations and acknowledged the resolve of troops to fully eliminate terrorists from their left over sanctuary.

While addressing troops, participating in the operation, General Raheel Sharif commended their high state of morale and paid rich tributes to their resilience and sacrifice.

COAS said that sacrifices of soldiers will not go waste and we will achieve the ultimate goal of a terror free Pakistan.

Army Chief met with troops in Shawal Valley.

The heavily forested ravines of the Shawal Valley are dotted with Taliban hideouts and the area is a key smuggling route into neighboring Afghanistan.

General Raheel Sharif’s visit comes a day after air strikes killed 15 suspected militants and destroyed their eight hideouts in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan.

The mountainous region along the Afghan border used to be a key Taliban stronghold, with insurgents controlling all the major urban centers. But in June 2014, the government launched a massive military operation in North Waziristan and vowed to step up its efforts in the wake of a Taliban attack on a school in December that killed some 150 people, mostly children.

Pakistan has been battling a homegrown insurgency for over a decade following the late 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Officials say more than 3,000 militants have been killed since the launch of the latest offensive.