Pakistan army briefs lawmakers on operation against militants

Army chief General Asim Munir says strategy to engage with terrorists had allowed them to regroup in tribal areas

By Agencies

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Pakistan arm chief General  Asim Munir. — AP file
Pakistan arm chief General Asim Munir. — AP file

Published: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 3:19 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 3:20 PM

Pakistan’s army chief General Syed Asim Munir has said that it was for the elected representatives of people to determine the country’s destination, and the army will fully support them in the journey to development and progress.

Speaking during an in-camera briefing on the national security situation in the National Assembly on Friday, he said there was no lack of resources in Pakistan, however, “we should leave the debate of new and old Pakistan and talk about ‘Our Pakistan”.

This was Gen Asim Munir’s first briefing to lawmakers after he took over the army command from General Qamar Javed Bajwa in November last year.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, top military officials, federal secretaries for interior, foreign, finance, defence and broadcasting, four provincial chief ministers and as many provincial chief secretaries as well as police chiefs attended the in-camera session.

The briefing was arranged against the backdrop of a resurgence of terrorism in the country and a recent decision by the government to launch a fresh campaign to stem the tide of terrorist violence.

Speaking about the anti-militancy efforts, the army chief said and that the ongoing campaign against terrorists was part of the already approved strategy of the state. “This campaign will include all the necessary components of the government like legal, economic, social and foreign besides security institutions,” he added.

Gen Asim Munir said that armed forces were making efforts to maintain durable peace in the country and pointed out that intelligence-based operations were underway in the wake of recent resurgence of terrorism.

He stressed that besides the security agencies, all government departments would have to join the campaign against anti-state elements.

“This is not a new operation but it is a continuation of the already approved state strategy. It reflects the whole of the nation approach and the unwavering confidence of the people,” he added.

“At present there is no no-go area in Pakistan, Alhamdulillah,” the army chief said. “We owe this success to the sacrifices of a large number of martyrs and ghazis,” he added. “Terrorists have no option but to accept the writ of the state.”

Responding to points raised by lawmakers, Gen Asim said that the previous strategy of holding dialogue with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was a mistake. The negotiations with the terrorists have resulted in emergence of more terrorist groups, he regretted. — agencies

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