Islamabad: The Pakistan Army has announced the ending of its military offensive in Kurram Agency after clearing only Central Kurram of militants, without the opening of a crucial road link.
The official announcement of the conclusion of the operation, code-named Koh-i-Sufaid, came with Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s visit to the region.
“Clearance of Central Kurram will ensure opening of Tal-Parachinar Road,” a newspaper quoted an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, as saying.
The statement, however, did not assign any reason as to why an offensive in Lower Kurram was avoided and the operation was wound up before the only road link between the remote parts of the agency and the other parts of the country could be cleared.
Opening of the Tal-Parachinar Road was one of the major objectives for starting the operation.
Sources say that military stayed clear of the sectarian strife in the region that has claimed hundreds of lives, and focused only on clearing Central Kurram of terrorists.
Another reason why military is believed to have kept itself out of Lower Kurram and conducted a limited level operation in the central region was possibly the defection of Fazal Saeed Haqqani from the ranks of Hakeemullah, days ahead of the operation.
According to sources in Kurram, Fazal’s militia remained untouched because of his last-minute move, citing differences with the Pakistan Taliban’s leadership.