With the completion of the first phase of fencing of the Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2018 is ending on a high note for operation Raddul Fassad.
This was one of many objectives achieved during the course of the operation that began in February 2017.
The first critical phase of fencing spanning 539 kilometres was to be completed by the end of 2018, of which 462km has been completed and the remainder is expected to be completed in a few days. “The Pak-Afghan border is a reality and it has changed the paradigm of illegal border crossing,” an officer associated with the project said.
The total planned Pak Afghan border was 2,611km and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. “Till now 643km fencing along the border, including 462km in KP and 181km in Balochistan, has been completed,” according to updated statistics. A media team visiting Torkham was informed that a total of 843 border posts were planned, of which 233 have been completed while the construction of 140 posts is underway.
Owing to the effective physical and technical surveillance of the border, illegal border crossing has been made impossible despite a lack of cooperation from the Afghan authorities.
Operation Raddul Fasaad was launched on February 22, 2017 to aid the counter terrorism operation being conducted by the Rangers in Punjab, continue operations across the country, focus on more effective border security management and ensure countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control.
Approximately 75,894 intelligence based operations and combing operations have been conducted since the start of the operation. In 2018, as many as 45,764 operations were conducted. Major achievements of the operation include the Fata merger.
The spokesperson of the TTP Ehsanullah Ehsan surrendered and Sufi Muhammad called the actions of the group un-Islamic and unlawful. During 2018 a total of 2,933 ceasefire violations were reported whereas 355 casualties were reported, including 55 people martyred and 300 injured.
A massive surge in ceasefire violations was observed from 2014 to 2018 – a jump to 2,933 from 315. Similarly, the number of casualties also swelled from 107 (20 martyred and 87 injured) to 355 (55 martyred and 300 injured). The number of terrorist incidents per month reduced from an average of eight in 2013 to one to two in 2017 and 2018.
The trend of reduction in violence causing civilian casualties varied from 2003 to 2018, with the most civilian casualties in March 2011 (432) and January 2013 (414). The overall number reduced from 140 in 2003 to 80 casualties in 2018.
The overall trend shows a reduction in targeted killings by 97% (from 1,762 in 2003 to five in 2018), terrorism reduced by 99% (from 330 cases in 2003 to two in 2018), extortion cases reduced by 96% (from 2,113 in 2003 to seven in 2018) and kidnapping cases decreased by up to 93% (from 303 in 2003 to 27 in 2018).
Another achievement was the 800km of infrastructure constructed in the area, reducing travel time by a third. This includes the Peshawar-Landi Kotal – Torkham road and the Khyber Jandola Tunnel. In Miranshah, 493 projects were initiated, benefitting three million people. A total of 42 health projects were launched including five major hospitals creating 5,384 jobs that benefitted 1.3 million people.
Trade activities have also increased due to the improved security situation. The number of check posts in KP reduced in 2018 to 331, as compared to 2013 when there were 469.