Military vows to continue fight against terrorism

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s top military brass has reaffirmed resolve to continue the fight against terrorism.

By (Our Correspondent)

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2013, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:11 PM

A quarterly meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chaired by the committee chairman Gen. Khalid Shameem Wynne, attended by the three services chiefs, intelligence heads and senior officials reiterated in unequivocal terms that “comprehensive strategy will be followed by armed forces to combat terrorist threat being faced by the country,” a military spokesman said.

The policy statement on continuing the fight against terrorism came a day after the Tehrik-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) withdrew its peace talks offer on the pretext of what it called the “non-serious attitude of security forces and the government”.

The offer for talks made in December was renewed by the TTP on February 3. It named Pakistan Muslim League chief Nawaz Sharif, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Munawwar Hassan as guarantors they would like to have in any peace deal with the government. Two multi-party conferences — one hosted by the Awami National Party and the other by JUI-F — had endorsed a peace process with the Taleban except for that the communiqu issued by the conference organised by the ANP called for dialogue within the confines of the constitution, while the JUI-F meeting wanted unconditional talks. The military had been keeping an ambivalent position on the TTP’s dialogue offer.

A military official explained that by pursuing a comprehensive strategy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee meant to say that all elements of national power would be utilised to combat and root out terrorism from the country.

The army, which traditionally keeps itself in lead role in decisions relating to security, had on the issue of dialogue with the Taleban put the ball in the court of the civilian government for a decision. It was apparently because the military was always sceptical about the TTP’s offer.

The TTP and other militant groups continued to carry out attacks despite their offer for peace. The latest attack was outside a judicial complex in Peshawar which left four people dead.

The rising tide of extremism and sectarian violence has made the situation further complex.

Gen. Wynne praised sacrifices rendered by armed forces for the sake of national security and expressed satisfaction at the state of preparedness of armed forces to take on the challenge.

The meeting also discussed and reiterated support of the armed forces to Election Commission of Pakistan in the forthcoming elections.

Comprehensive strategy

By pursuing a comprehensive strategy, all elements of national power would be utilised to combat and root out terrorism from the country

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