Pakistan Army’s role in regional peace and stability

Top military leadership met on Tuesday to discuss internal and regional security developments in a Corps Commanders Conference in Rawalpindi chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“The COAS took the forum on board about his military diplomacy through his recent visits abroad and interaction with foreign dignitaries visiting Pakistan,” according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The meeting comes a day after United States (US) Defence Secretary retired Gen James Mattis, in his maiden visit to Pakistan, told the country’s civil and military leadership that Islamabad needs to do moreto combat militant networks operating on its soil.

A day before the Mattis arrived in Islamabad, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo had warned Pakistan that if it does not eliminate the alleged safe havens inside its territory, the US would do “everything we can” to destroy them.

The army chief was also recently in Saudi Arabia as the first meeting of the defence ministers of countries involved in the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) was held last Sunday.

Last month, Gen Bajwa also visited Iran for detailed consultations.

The military’s top brass in the meeting paid special attention to the impacts of the situation in Afghanistan on Pakistan as well as the region.

“[The] forum also discussed regional and internal security situation with specific reference to Afghanistan,” said the ISPR handout.

The focus on Afghanistan comes days after a terror attack on the Agricultural Training Institute in Peshawar. Initial investigation of the attack revealed the terrorists had been in touch with their handlers in Afghanistan.

According to the ISPR, the army decided to continue contributing towards collective efforts seeking to bring durable peace to the region, particularly Afghanistan.

The meeting also reviewed the progress in Operation Raddul Fasaad, enhanced security measures along the Pak-Afghan border and recently initiated ‘Khushal Balochistan’ programme aimed at the stability of the province through socio-economic development.

Dawn News

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