ISLAMABAD: Corps commanders deliberated on Wednesday steps for preventing terrorists from carrying out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan and strengthening border controls.
The discussion on international concerns about militants using Pakistani soil for attacks in Afghanistan and management of the long porous border with Afghanistan to prevent unauthorised cross-border movement took place at the Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters, presided over by Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif.
The army chief directed his commanders and intelligence agencies to act against those using Pakistani soil for attacks in Afghanistan.
Although the military insists that it is already taking action against terrorists of all “hues and colours”, the categorical direction from the top has come amid mounting international pressure over concerns that Taliban and other Afghan terrorist groups still operated from the region cleared during the recently concluded kinetic operations in North Waziristan.
COAS seeks international community’s help in resolving the Kashmir dispute
US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade a day earlier held a testimony themed ‘Pakistan: A friend or foe in the fight against terrorism’, which reflected Congress’ reservations over Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations in North Waziristan which had earlier forced the cancellation of a deal for sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani too had expressed similar apprehensions at the last week’s Nato summit in Warsaw, where he said that Pakistan continued to make the distinction between good and bad Taliban.
The killing of the mastermind of the Army Public School massacre, Umar Ameer Naray, in a US drone attack — one of Pakistan’s key demands alongside capture or killing of TTP chief Fazlullah — is another pointer of improving cooperation between Pakistan and the US on Afghanistan.
However, it is not the same for Afghanistan with whom mistrust continues.
A source, privy to discussion at the corps commanders meeting, said that Pakistan expected the Afghan government not to allow the use of its soil against Pakistan by the TTP and Indian intelligence agency RAW.
An ISPR statement on the meeting said: “The forum reviewed progress of measures being taken for effective border management for scrutinising cross-border movement and ensuring strict check on terrorists’ movement.”
The corps commanders meeting also discussed issues related to implementation of the border management plan, including construction of new gates and posts, and deployment of troops along the porous border.
KASHMIR: Gen Sharif sought the international community’s help in resolving the Kashmir dispute with India for peace in the region.
“The world needs to … help resolve the long-standing dispute for lasting amity in Kashmir and enduring peace in the region,” he said at the commanders’ conference.
He condemned the use of excessive force by India against Kashmiris who were protesting against the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani.
Thirty five people have been killed and over 1,000 injured in protests which erupted on July 9 over the Wani’s killing.
The army chief said the world should “recognise aspirations of Kashmiri people and their struggle for freedom”.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2016