ISLAMABAD: Top military brass was on Tuesday briefed about the steps being taken to deal with threats to peace in the country.

The briefing on internal security was given at the monthly corps commanders’ meeting presided over by Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a media statement the meeting reviewed the evolving security situation in the region, with a specific focus on border management and internal security.

“Forum was apprised on measures being taken to thwart nefarious designs of inimical forces to destabilise Pakistan and spoil the hard-earned peace and stability,” the ISPR said in an apparent reference to the growing violence in erstwhile tribal areas.

There has been a surge in militant violence since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in mid-August. Most of the violence has been attributed to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Corps commanders reject India’s ‘malicious propaganda’ as diversionary tactic

The TTP, according to Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies’ database, has carried out 14 attacks since August 15 in which 23 people have been martyred and another 48 injured. These attacks have mostly occurred in tribal districts — Bajaur, Lower Dir, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Orakzai, South Waziristan, and Tank. An incident has been reported from Quetta as well.

The figures for six weeks represent a high for the past few years during which a declining trend in violence was observed.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Friday disclosed that the government was holding talks in Afghanistan with some of the TTP component groups with a view to granting amnesty and integrating them back into society.

Although one of the groups in North Waziristan had the same day announced a ceasefire, a few incidents have since then been reported from the tribal district with military casualty.

The military has so far not shared its views on the talks.

Gen Bajwa, however, speaking at an investiture ceremony at the GHQ on Monday, had said: “There is no cause more noble than laying one’s life for defence of motherland and sacrifices of our martyrs won’t go waste.”

His words were seen as a sort of reassurance for the families of martyrs that the army would not make compromises in the talks.

Meanwhile, the participants of the corps commanders’ conference stressed on the international community to meaningfully engage Afghan Taliban and provide sustained support to the new Afghan government for peace and stability in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood.

The army’s message was consistent with what Prime Minister Imran Khan has been telling the international community since the fall of the Ghani administration. Mr Khan had in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly urged the world to support the Taliban regime for preserving the progress made by the war-ravaged country over the past two decades and preventing it from turning into a terrorist safe haven.

The generals also expressed concern over the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The commanders rejected Indian military’s “malicious propaganda” against Pakistan as a diversionary tactic. “The baseless propaganda only reflects their frustration and an attempt to divert attention from their internal contradictions especially gross Human Rights Violations, being committed in IIOJK,” Gen Bajwa said on this occasion.

Indian military had claimed to have eliminated an alleged infiltrator and captured another one in Uri Sector. The captive was later forced to record a video statement in which he claimed about having been imparted weapons training in Pakistan.

“The forum expressed resolve to take all necessary measures to safeguard Pakistan’s territorial integrity,” the ISPR said.

The army chief appreciated operational preparedness of formations and focus on training including enhanced collaboration with foreign militaries and conduct of joint exercises in the Operational and Counter Terrorism domain, the ISPR said.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2021

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