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July 12, 2007 Thursday Jamadi-us-Sani 26, 1428

It’s ‘Operation Sunrise’ not ‘Silence’

By Qudssia Akhlaque

ISLAMABAD, July 11: Just when every Pakistani with access to any form of news media was getting ready to hear that ‘operation silence’ at the capital’s Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa is about to end, it has transpired that the military action was officially codenamed ‘operation sunrise’.

Yes, it is official now. The armed forces of Pakistan never carried out ‘operation silence’ at the Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa compound.

When Dawn asked director-general of ISPR Major-General Waheed Arshad on Wednesday night if ‘operation silence’ was the official codename of the operation conducted by the Special Services Group, his response was: “No, that has been coined by the media.”

When quizzed about the official codename of the operation, the military spokesman paused and then told this correspondent that he would have to check about it. Perhaps after getting the clearance he called back 90 minutes later and disclosed that it was codenamed ‘operation sunrise’.

He said there was no particular reason for the choice of the name.

Notably, it is on the ninth day of the Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa episode that the actual name of the operation has surfaced. Curiously enough, the military kept mum as the media continued to refer to it as ‘operation silence’.

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