How has Operation Zarb-e-Azb changed perceptions about Pakistan abroad?

In 2014, in the backdrop of failed talks with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a deadly attack on Karachi International Airport in June that year, the Pakistani government and military leadership took a unanimous decision to eradicate terrorism from the country. On June 15, 2014, the armed forces launched ground operations and air strikes in the North Wazirsitan Agency (NWA) by employing its infantry divisions, artillery, armour and air force. The stated aim of the operation was to strike against all extremists and finish off terrorist activities once and for all. This included destroying groups such as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Al-Qaeda among others. Another important aspect of Zarb-e-Azb was to track and stop the sources of financial backing to the terror mongers. In light of this operation, Pakistan’s image has improved considerably in the international arena. During the Heart of Asia conference in December 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that the operation has been remarkably successful and was achieving the desired results. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, echoed similar sentiments on the first day of the New Year when he said 2016 would be the year of unity and eliminating terror from the country.

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