ISLAMABAD: Formation commanders were on Tuesday briefed on plans for the modernisation of the army.

In a statement on the two-day-long 78th Formation Commanders’ Con­ference at the General Headquarters, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said: “Forum was briefed on the cutting-edge technologies being harnessed to modernise army’s outfits, besides upgrade of logistics infrastructure corresponding to emerging operational imperatives.”

The meeting, which is an annual feature, was presided over by Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. The session was attended by the corps commanders, principal staff officers and all formation commanders of the army.

No details of the modernisation plan were publicly shared. The plan is expected to be implemented in phases over the next few years.

Although the army gets separate allocations for major development plans, it was allocated Rs651.5 billion in the next financial year’s budget. About 32.6 per cent of this allocation, which comes to around Rs212.3bn, is planned to be spent on physical assets and civil works — the heads that relate to the military infrastructure development and repairs; and local purchases of arms and ammunition, besides some imports and related costs.

The commanders were further briefed on the geo-strategic environment, challenges to national security and military’s strategy for responding to the evolving threat.

“Reviewing the prevailing situation on Eastern Border and latest developments in IIOJ&K, the forum expressed complete solidarity with Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in UNSC resolutions,” the ISPR said.

“Forum was also apprised of Pakistan’s meaningful support to Afghan peace process and stringent measures being taken for enhancing border security,” it added.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Bajwa praised the formations for their focus on training and high state of morale. This, he said, had augmented the operational readiness of the formations.

“COAS expressed satisfaction over the progress of the stabilisation operations across Pakistan following the successes of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” the ISPR said.

The formation commanders, the statement said, reviewed progress on transition and uplift of the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa and socio-economic development in Balochistan. The development projects were described as “a dividend of hard-earned peace and stability”.

The COAS appreciated formations for their all-out support to national response for tackling Covid-19 pandemic, locust and eradication of polio.

“Pakistan Army shall continue defending and serving the nation in every possible way,” the army chief said.

Published in Dawn, EOS, June 16th, 2021

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