ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Office on Monday said that Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, accompanied by the spymaster and the military spokesman, met the prime minister for a discussion on the security situation in the country.
“Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hamid and DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office, Islamabad, today. The overall security situation of the country was discussed in the meeting,” a brief statement on the meeting read.
The meeting took place a couple of days after 10 soldiers were martyred in two incidents in Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and near Turbat in Balochistan. A week earlier two incidents happened in Dera Ismail Khan in which several people, including policemen, lost their lives.
The list of the participants of the meeting, however, sparked speculations about the issues discussed at the meeting because attendance of such sessions is usually linked to the agenda.
The prime minister holds consultations on security in different formats, including the National Security Committee and individual and combined meetings with the army chief and the intelligence chief. However, the format of Monday’s meeting is uncommon, at least in public announcements on security-related sessions. It is, therefore, believed that the agenda was more than just security.
Many saw the meeting in the context of the challenges to media freedom in the country. The prime minister had in his visit to Washington last week denied that Pakistani media was facing restrictions.
“To say there are curbs on Pakistani press is a joke,” he said in response to a question at a media interaction at the White House. In a comment on media freedoms at a think-tank event, Mr Khan said: “It is not just free, but it is out of control.”
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2019