ISLAMABAD, Nov 20: Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani praised on Wednesday performance of the troops in the fight against terrorism despite challenges.

The outgoing chief of army staff, who was presiding over the last meeting of formation commanders of his tenure, recalled the military’s successes against terrorism over the past six years.

The meeting, attended by corps commanders, principal staff officers at the GHQ and formation commanders, was the largest gathering of senior military commanders ahead of his impending retirement on Nov 28.

Gen Kayani, who took over the command of what was then a demoralised force in 2007, undertook effective operations against Taliban. Soon after assuming the command, he designated 2008 “The Year of the Soldier” and took steps for improving the conditions of soldiers. Next year was declared “The Year of Training”. War games were held to improve the training level.

In his farewell speech, Gen Kayani recalled successes in Swat and the clearing of six of the seven tribal agencies of militants. He also spoke about reconstruction and development projects being undertaken in the cleared agencies.

He said the performance of the troops on the western front was commendable despite sustained pressure on the eastern border with India.

He said he was “proud of having commanded the finest army” for six years and thanked the commanders for helping him in discharge of his duties.

Gen Kayani gave an overview of the challenges the army is expected to confront in the days ahead as he referred to external and internal threats.

He is expected to begin his farewell calls from next week. The change of command ceremony will be held on Nov 29.

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