Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir on Thursday said the safety and security of every Pakistani was of paramount importance and could not be compromised “at any cost”.

He passed these remarks while talking about the repatriation and deportation of illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan during the National Security Workshop, the military’s media affairs wing said.

Earlier this month, the government gave an ultimatum to all undocumented immigrants, including Afghan nationals, to leave Pakistan by the deadline or else, risk imprisonment and deportation to their respective countries.

The decision was taken in an apex committee meeting headed by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and attended by COAS Munir, among others. The committee also decided that movement across the border would be subject to passports and visas, while electronic Afghan identity cards (or e-tazkiras) would only be accepted until October 31.

According to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) today, the COAS held an interactive session with the participants of the National Security Workshop at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

The National Security Workshop is an annual event held at the National Defence University. It was attended by 98 participants, including parliamentarians, senior civil and armed forces officers and representatives of the civil society.

During the workshop, the participants were briefed about regional and internal security dynamics and the national security environment, the ISPR said.

It stated that the forum was apprised regarding the host of measures being taken to curb activities of illegal spectrum including smuggling, power theft, narcotics prevalence, border control measures, and repatriation of illegal foreigners from Pakistan.

“Safety and security of each Pakistani is of paramount importance which cannot be allowed to be compromised at any cost,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.

While addressing the participants, Gen Munir said, “Armed Forces of Pakistan and its security and intelligence setups have fought the menace of terrorism in an exemplary manner despite sustained and varied support of inimical forces.

“Success will be ours InshAllah with the continued support of the people of Pakistan,” he added.

The COAS also emphasised that “intelligentsia and civil society have a greater responsibility to ensure that our people, especially youth stay aware and steadfast against hostile propaganda onslaught being launched through soft offensive against the state institutions of Pakistan”.

He further highlighted the “economic positivity” generated by multiple proactive steps, especially the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

“The army is fully engaged in enabling National and Provincial responses in different domains in step with other institutions of the state for the collective good of the people of Pakistan.

“We are a resilient nation that has endured the tests of time on its path to achieving peace and stability,” the COAS added.

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