Pak PM, COAS in rare talks on army issues

Islamabad - Meeting satisfied with gains made in anti-terror operation.

By Our Correspondent

Published: Sun 20 Mar 2016, 3:49 PM

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif in a rare meeting on "military matters" here have expressed satisfaction over the pace of progress in the anti-terrorism operation Zarb-e-Azb.
The meeting noted that significant gains have been made in the operation across the country and also in the targeted operation in Karachi.
It was one of those rare meetings that exclusively discussed military affairs.
Most previous meetings featuring the prime minister and the army chief have been about national security matters, even though this one too was described by the Prime Minister's Office as "a meeting on security".
The meeting also stuck out from past interactions in the sense that Gen Sharif was only accompanied by ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar. In the past, the military delegation has been much larger.
From the government's side, National Security Adviser retired Lt-Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, who has been a key aide on security, was conspicuously missing.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, who have been a regular feature in security meetings in the past, were also absent as they were on their way back home from the Saarc foreign ministers' meeting in Nepal.
This prompted speculations that the agenda of the meeting was special.
The PM Office in a brief statement said: "Matters related to external and internal security were discussed during the meeting."
The only agenda item specified in the Press release was the review of progress of the ongoing military operation.
"It was noted with satisfaction that the operation has made significant gains," it said, adding that the participants reaffirmed their resolve to root out terrorism and extremism from the country.

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