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ISLAMABAD: The Pakis­tan Army on Monday vowed to thwart ‘conspiracies’ of hostile foreign intelligence agencies against peace achieved through security operations in the country.

The resolve was expressed at the Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters.

According to a readout issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) after the conference, which is a monthly feature, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, while chairing the meeting said: “While safeguarding the borders and carrying on the ongoing stability operations through Raddul Fasaad, concurrent focus is now to be on strategising and implementing comprehensive national response against machinations by hostile intelligence agencies / inimical forces to undo the national gains for peace and stability.”

The meeting had a broad agenda covering external environment, especially the progress on peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, as well as the internal security situation.

The presence of Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, who is in-charge of internal security at the Inter-Services Intelligence, indicated that meeting was dominated by internal agenda.

The readout did not specify any actions, which the Army believes, are being fomented by the hostile spy outfits.

It is feared that the journey to normalisation after protracted conflict in tribal areas is being impeded by hostile foreign intelligence agencies — India’s RAW and Afghanistan’s NDS, which are allegedly exploiting the grievances and concerns of the local population to pitch them against state institutions. The suspected activities of the external element are posing a serious challenge for the sustainability of the gains made during the counter-terrorism operations.

The military has long suggested that fifth generation warfare is being thrust on Pakistan.

The military, on the other hand, has paced up work on erection of a fence along the 2,600km long porous border with Afghanistan to prevent terrorists based on the other side of the border from carrying out attacks on this side. Nearly 900km has been fenced and it is expected that another 300km would be fenced over the next few months. The project has gained urgency in view of likely withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan after a possible deal with the Taliban.

Gen Bajwa, at the corps commanders conference, directed that socio-economic development in tribal areas should be ramped up so that the grievances of local communities were addressed. “Dividends of improved internal security situation must reach out to people of Pakistan through socioeconomic development,” ISPR quoted him as having said.

It should be recalled that during a recent guided tour to North Waziristan, journalists were told by the local tribesmen that while the security situation has improved in the area, the development of infrastructure and provision of basic facilities has to catch up.

KASHMIR: The meeting also discussed situation along Line of Control and Working Boundary with regards to continued ceasefire violations and Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris. The state of preparedness along Line of Control/Working Boundary and Eastern Border to thwart any misadventure from across was reviewed, ISPR said, adding solidarity was expressed with resilient Kashmiris on the eve of Kashmir Day.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2019