Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.—File photo courtesy ISPR
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani vowed Monday that terrorists would not be allowed "to take advantage of the military’s support to the political process."
"While it is understandable to give peace a chance through a political process…no one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms,” a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations quoted Kayani as saying. “(The) Army has the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists.”
The military chief’s statement follows four attacks on security forces by the Pakistani Taliban in the past two days despite the country’s political leadership’s unanimously deciding earlier last week to hold peace talks with the militants.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Sunday announced preconditions for any negotiations, saying troops must be withdrawn from the tribal areas and its prisoners released.
At least six security personnel were killed in the four separate attacks for which the TTP claimed responsibility. One of the attacks, a roadside bomb in Upper Dir near the Afghan border, killed three army men including Maj-Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi and Lieutenant Colonel Tauseef Ahmad.
Maj-Gen Sanaullah was the commander of the forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s militancy-hit Malakand division. “The General Officer has set towering example of leading from the front which is hallmark of leadership in Pakistan Army,” said Kayani according to the ISPR statement. “We all salute his bravery.”
The Army chief vowed to spare no effort in bringing to justice the perpetrators of these acts of terrorism. He reiterated the Army’s resolve and commitment in fighting the menace of terrorism “in accordance with the will of the nation and at any cost.”