Gen Kayani vows to root out militancy despite losses

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that Pakistan has suffered the maximum in terms of human and economic losses due to terrorism and violent extremism, but it has not dented the resolve of the nation and its armed forces to root out the terrorism in line with own national interests.

He made these remarks, while talking to a group of foreign correspondents on his return from Brussels, where he had gone to attend the conference of NATO commanders on a special invitation.

The Army chief said he has conveyed the concerns, challenges, contributions and constraints of Pakistan in its fight against the terrorists.

The COAS said that he had highlighted the key issues of the conflict that needed to be fully understood and addressed. He drew the attention of the forum towards the huge sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan and its armed forces, due to the effect of ‘Blow Back’.

Referring to Afghanistan, Gen Kayani said: “Our objective is to have peaceful, stable and friendly Afghanistan. We cannot wish for Afghanistan anything that we don’t wish for Pakistan”.

He reaffirmed that geography, culture and history can neither be separated nor wished away and emphasized that our operations in 2009 have helped improve situation in Afghanistan in terms of squeezing of spaces, better control of areas and continuous logistic flow.

The COAS identified five fundamentals that helped in turning the tide and must not be lost sight for future operations. These are: public opinion, media support, army’s capability and resolve, ‘our war’ was not ‘US war’ and a comprehensive strategy based on four different phases namely clear, hold, build and transfer.

About the way forward, he said that, the fundamentals should remain strong and intact, short and long term interests be reconciled, strategic direction should be maintained and coordination be effect based.

He informed the NATO commanders that our strategic paradigm needs to be fully realized. He said we are the second largest Muslim nation in the World located in a strategic region defined by competing interests and civilizational cross roads, with a prolonged history of conflict.

“We have three million Afghan refugees. At present, our operations are in a transitory phase (from hold to build), we must consolidate our gains and fully stabilize the areas secured, lest it falls back to terrorists.”

Constraints of capability to absorb and operate, limited cutting edge counter intelligence, counter terrorism capability and limited budgetary space should be factored in, he said.

In his concluding remarks, General said Pakistan has contributed to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“We have the will and resolve to overcome the menace of terrorism in our country and we have the public support. We have also offered to train ANA and ANP, as we have the capacity and wherewithal to do so.”

He reiterated that Pakistan should be trusted and enabled.


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