The Operation Rah-e-Nijat (English: Path to Salvation; Urdu: آپریشن راہ نجات) was a strategic military operation by the unified command of Pakistan Armed Forces against the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) and their extremist allies in the South Waziristan area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that began on June 19, 2009; a major ground-naval-air offensive was subsequently launched on October 17. It became the integral part of the war in Western fronts which led the encirclement and destruction of Taliban forces in the region, although the Taliban leadership escaped to lawless areas of neighboring Afghanistan.
The operation was aimed to finish the senior Taliban leadership and bring the lawless areas back to government control, however the leadership escaped to Afghanistan whilst areas came back under the Pakistan government control. Planning for the Operation became on June 16, 2009 after successfully commencing previous offense, the operation Rah-e-Ra’ast, and had applied a successful blockade of the region that prevented the Taliban forces to gain external support. On October 2, 2009, the preparation for such operation were made after a top civic-military meeting took place in the Islamabad which led the revival and starting of Navy‘s reconnaissance and surveillance air operations to monitor the troop rotations of Taliban forces. On October 19, the ground offense was launched when military personnel from XI Corps, along with the airborne forces who were assisted by the joint special forces, entered in the three-month long blockade area of South Waziristan. The PAF pounded the hidden and suspected mountainous regions, relying on Navy’s intelligence, while the Army marched deeper into Taliban-controlled territory.
The joint-military forces entered and advanced in the region from three directions— Razmak in the north, Jandola in the east and Shakai in the west. The forces furthered advanced in the habitat towns of Makeen, Spinkai, Raghzai and Tiarz; initially focusing on taking the town of Kotkai which served as the command and control center for enemy combatant forces. On 24 October, The breakthrough and major achievement came to notice when the military announced the successful retake and the control of the town of Kotkai after a heavy fighting.
On 29 October, the military occupied the town of Kaniguram, a strong of former Russians fighters and Uzbeks controlled Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. On December 12, the military announced the success of the operation and took the control of the entire South Waziristan into government control. The human cost and casualties for Taliban forces were extremely high, roughly losing thousands of fighters as compared to the military forces; the senior Taliban leadership abandoned their posts and escaped to neighboring Afghanistan before they could be apprehended or killed in the actions.