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ISLAMABAD: Forma­tion Commanders’ forum of the Army on Friday discussed the progress of the transition of the militancy-affected areas to civilian control.

The meeting, which is an annual feature, was attended by corps commanders, principal staff officers and all formation commanders at GHQ.

The conference is the highest forum for the field commanders to discuss operational and training matters.

The participants of the meeting, presided over by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, were briefed on evolving geostrategic environment, threats to national security and challenges, said the Inter-Services Public Relations in a statement.

The administrative and security transition of the militancy-hit regions has gained added significance because of protests by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, a Pashtun rights’ movement demanding justice for Naqeebullah Mehsud who was killed in a fake police encounter in Karachi, recovery of the missing people, clearance of landmines, and an end to harassment of Pashtuns at security check-posts.

The army says it is open to discussing all issues and is already addressing them, but the PTM’s rhetoric was unacceptable.

The military also blames the delay in Fata reforms as one of the reasons behind the anger and frustration among the Pashtun youth.

The ISPR said the formation commanders’ forum pledged that as a state institution, Pakistan Army shall continue to serve the nation in support of and in coordination with other state institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Bajwa said that successes against militancy had been achieved because of sacrifices rendered by the people of Pakistan, members of security forces and intelligence and law-enforcement agencies.

The general also spoke about the challenges on the borders and the Line of Control and Working Boundary.

The ISPR said that the army chief praised the high state of operational readiness and morale of troops.

Gen Bajwa said that despite “our desire for maintaining peace with our neighbours, any hostile action anywhere along our frontiers shall be effectively and befittingly responded”.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2018

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated "transfer of disturbed areas" instead of "cleared areas". The mistake has been corrected.