ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday praised the military’s role in strengthening national security.
“The prime minister hailed continued efforts of the Pakistan Army in defending the borders while also ensuring internal security [and] stability facilitating ongoing socio-economic development,” the Prime Minister Office said in a statement issued after a meeting between Mr Khan and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The remarks have been made against the backdrop of the JUI-F’s protest drive. Leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and some other opposition parties during the recent sit-in in Islamabad had blamed the ‘state institutions’ for the current impasse in the country. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had called upon the institutions to play “neutral”.
Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had then asked the Maulana to clarify which institutions he was referring to. He had emphasised that the army as an institution believed in the rule of law and Constitution and fully backed the democratically elected government.
The prime minister recalled army’s sacrifices and their contributions towards restoring stability in the country to dismiss the negative impressions.
According to the PM Office, Mr Khan and Gen Bajwa discussed the security situation within the country, the situation in India-held Kashmir, Pak-Afghan border and the internal security.
A source claimed that the two had discussed the appointment of the next Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Incumbent Chairman Gen Zubair Hayat is retiring on Nov 27.
Gen Bajwa too would in the next fortnight begin his second tenure in office. The government had in August decided to continue with Gen Bajwa for another three years.
Meanwhile, the army chief visited headquarters of Frontier Corps, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North), adds APP.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, Gen Bajwa laid floral wreath on the Shuhada Monument. He visited the FC museum and Fort gallery, which had been opened for public.
Talking to the officers and men of Frontier Corps, the COAS lauded their contributions towards bringing stability in the province, including the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He paid rich tribute to the Shuhada and their families who rendered great sacrifices for the sake of motherland.
The COAS said it was because of the efforts of the security forces that the socio-economic development phase was now in motion to carry forward gains of kinetic operations towards enduring peace and stability.
The Commander Peshawar Corps accompanied the army chief during the visit.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2019