Kayani_AP_670
Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani conveyed to President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday the military’s concerns over the rapidly deteriorating law and order and called for urgent steps to deal with the situation.

Soon after a corps commanders’ conference, where the military’s top brass reviewed the internal security situation, the army chief met President Zardari to communicate the disquiet among his commanders about the security situation spiralling out of control.

No details of the meeting were officially revealed either by the army or the presidency.

A one-line statement on the meeting issued by the presidency said: “Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-i-Sadr. Security situation was discussed during the meeting.”

A day earlier, the army chief had visited Karachi for a briefing on the situation in the city where sectarianism has added a new dimension to continuing violence.

Sources in the presidency said the discussion revolved around recent incidents in Quetta and Karachi and an operation against the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

They claimed that Gen Kayani had spoken about improper and inefficient utilisation of civilian law-enforcement agencies by the federal and provincial governments in dealing with terrorism.

Gen Kayani has in the past publicly expressed concerns over the poor performance of law-enforcement agencies.

He also pointed out the existence of militant wings of certain political parties and connections of some parties with terrorist groups as a major contributing factor to the wave of violence that has gripped the country.

Gen Kayani is said to have reiterated the army’s commitment to fully supporting the civilian law-enforcement agencies if asked by the government.

With elections round the corner, the PPP government is reluctant to give the army any major role in internal security affairs as witnessed after the Kirani Market (Quetta) bombing last month in which about 100 people were killed.

While chairing the 158th corps commanders’ conference at the General Headquarters, Gen Kayani received a special briefing on the law and order situation in Karachi and Quetta.

“Apart from professional military matters, the meeting undertook a comprehensive review of internal and external security environment of the country,” the ISPR said in a statement.

The peace process in Afghanistan and a truce offer by the Tehrik-i-Taliban also came under discussion.

The board for promotion of brigadiers to the rank of major general will meet on Friday.

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