ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a special meeting on “issues related to the military” on Friday.

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.


Meeting expresses satisfaction over gains made in operation


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.

At the last Corps Commanders’ meeting held earlier this week, Army Chief Gen Sharif had hinted that the military offensive in North Waziristan was about to conclude.

The commanders had also deliberated on the post-offensive plans.

The elements of the next phase of Zarb-i-Azb, according to Gen Sharif, include intensified intelligence-based operations across the country, timely resettlement of displaced persons and stricter control of the border with Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2016

Opinion

Long arm of Big Tech
20 Jan 2021

Long arm of Big Tech

How many people would still be alive if Twitter and Facebook had denied Trump a platform to spread lies about Covid-19 a year ago?
Words, words, words
19 Jan 2021

Words, words, words

There was little in terms of contributions in our own language as we wrestled with the pandemic.

Editorial

Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...
Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...