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PESHAWAR: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role towards success of the Afghan reconciliation process and peace in the region, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.

He said this while visiting troops on forward posts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the Dawatoi area of North Waziristan tribal district on Saturday.

Senior officials briefed the army chief about progress on the work on border fencing, sanitisation operation, socio-economic development projects and rehabilitation of the temporarily dislocated persons.

The army has been carrying out reconstruction and rehabilitation works in parts of militancy-stricken areas of former Fata, including North Waziristan.

Army chief visits troops on forward posts along border

Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan would continue to play its positive role towards the success of the Afghan reconciliation process and peace in the region, but the country would also stay ready for any unforeseen eventuality.

Pakistan has been facilitating talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to restore durable peace in the war-torn country.

“For this Pakistan is solidifying border through fencing, construction of new forts and posts and increase in strength of Frontier Crops troops to effectively manage the border,” the statement quoted the army chief as saying.

Referring to the escalation with India, he said that the army continued to maintain required state of alertness and preparedness on the eastern border.

“There are still challenges facing Pakistan but not as much as we have passed through in recent past. To continue the journey towards ultimate success we need to stay patient, determined and united,” the army chief said. He appreciated high morale of troops and their contributions for bringing about stability in the area.

The statement said that the army chief visited the area where three soldiers were martyred in a cross-border terrorist attack from Afghanistan on a fencing party on May 1.

The army chief visited forward posts in North Waziristan at a time when militants intensified attacks on security forces inside and from across the border. These attacks have resulted in the martyrdom of more than seven soldiers during last one month. Following attacks security forces conducted combing and search operation in Datakhel area last week and killed two “terrorists”.

Officials said that fencing along the border in North Waziristan was in progress. Islamabad had started fencing along the Afghan border in 2017 under the new border management plan to stop illegal cross border movement and contain insurgency. The army engineers have completed work on a 900-kilometre long portion of fence.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2019