ISLAMABAD, Sept 11: The government expressed its determination on Thursday to defend the country’s borders in the wake of increasing air attacks by US-led forces on tribal areas and American and British demands that international security forces be allowed to target what they call Al Qaeda ‘sanctuaries’ in areas bordering Afghanistan.

“We would take all possible steps to safeguard the country’s borders,” Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza

Gilani told reporters after laying the foundation of the Zero Point interchange here on Thursday.

“The nation should not be upset by the statement of US Admiral Mike Mullen who threatened more strikes inside Pakistan,” he said, adding that the government was capable of protecting the country’s borders.

Commenting on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s statement that the country’s borders would be defended at all cost and no external force would be allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan, the prime minister said the statement of the army chief reflected the government policy. The government had the same views as expressed by the army chief on defending the country’s sovereignty and integrity, he added.

COMMANDERS ENDORSE stand: Top army commanders on Thursday discussed the national security situation with reference to threats of US incursions in the tribal areas and endorsed the army chief’s statement about defending the country’s sovereignty.

A meeting of corps commanders was held against the backdrop of a change in the US strategy in the region and US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s remarks indicating possibility of more air strikes inside Pakistan “to prevent more attacks on the American people”.

Although, no official statement was released by the ISPR after the first day of the conference, sources told Dawn that the corps commanders had fully endorsed the policy statement given by Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that no foreign country was allowed to conduct military operations inside Pakistan.

The meeting discussed the situation in areas bordering Afghanistan, the statement by the Nato spokesman that it would not become part of the new US strategy involving more raids inside Pakistan and matters pertaining to relations with the US in the context of war on terror.

This was the first meeting of corps commanders after the resignation of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

The sources said that Gen Kayani briefed the commanders on his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari.

Opinion

Editorial

Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
09 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

IT is a sad commentary on the politics of the Middle East that even its most tragic human stories get defaced and...
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...
An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...