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Pakistani PM Sharif Visits North Waziristan

FILE - Pakistani soldiers display weapons reportedly captured from militants in Miran Shah in North Waziristan, July 9, 2014.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is “winning its war against terrorism,” condemning it as an “invisible enemy” of the country.

Sharif addressed Pakistani troops Thursday during a trip to North Waziristan near the Afghan border to review the progress of a counterterrorism offensive launched in June.

He praised troops for successfully fighting terrorism and said he believes it will establish lasting peace in Pakistan.

North Waziristan has long been condemned as the largest sanctuary for local and foreign militant groups blamed for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

The Pakistan military said it killed more than 1,000 militants and lost close to 90 soldiers since the anti-militancy offensive began, and has cleared most of the Waziristan territory of Islamist insurgents.

State-media hailed Sharif’s trip to the border region as the first visit by an elected prime minister, though it comes at a time when thousands of anti-Sharif protesters have camped out in central Islamabad for nearly two months demanding his resignation over election rigging allegations.

Sharif rejected the demand as unconstitutional and the parliament has backed him but demonstrators refuse to leave until their demands are met.