ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top military brass has vowed to continue intelligence-based operations against militant outfits operating in the country, said an official statement released on Saturday, while calling for a more holistic approach to eradicate the menace of extremist violence.
The top army generals reaffirmed the commitment to protect the country against internal and external security threats during the 257th Corps Commanders’ Conference held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi that was chaired by army chief General Asim Munir on Friday.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks in different parts of the country, though its western provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have remained particularly vulnerable to violence generated by insurgent groups, like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), along with separatist entities, such as the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).
Both Pakistani provinces share a porous border with Afghanistan where the leaders and fighters of these armed factions are said to be based. Officials in Islamabad have taken up the issue with the government in Kabul while urging the Taliban interim administration not to allow their country’s soil to be used by militant outfits to launch attacks against other states.
The top army generals also went into a huddle on Friday to evaluate a wide range of security problems facing the country.
“The forum affirmed that military leadership is cognizant of the full spectrum of the challenges and it resolves to shoulder its constitutionally mandated responsibilities with support of the resilient people of Pakistan,” said the statement issued by the military’s media wing, ISPR, after the meeting.
“It highlighted that while security forces are undertaking intelligence-based operations in areas along [the country’s] western border, there was a need to adopt a whole of the nation and whole of the government approach to eradicate the menace of terrorism on long term basis,” the statement added.
The participants of the conference agreed that a focused counterterrorism campaign approved by the government could help address the problem of militant violence and restore stability in Pakistan, if the whole governance system was geared toward achieving this goal.
The corps commanders also agreed to pursue the security objectives set by the National Security Committee, chaired by the prime minister, to turn the tide against militant violence through a “coordinated application of all elements of national power.”
The army chief also attended an in-camera session of the National Assembly of Pakistan on Friday where military officials briefed the legislators on the country’s security challenges in detail.
According to some media reports, he said that recent negotiations with TTP leaders had allowed its operatives to regroup and strengthen themselves.