Army Chief General(COAS) Asim Munir on Friday said the elected representatives of the people should determine the country’s destiny and the Army will fully support them in the journey towards development and success of Pakistan.
Speech Of COAS:
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) also conceded that talking to the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was a mistake. He was speaking to members of the National Assembly in an in-camera session to brief them about the prevailing security situation.
This was Gen Asim Munir’s first briefing to lawmakers after he became the Army chief in November last year.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the DG ISI, DG Military Operations and top military officials, IG Punjab, Chief Secretary Punjab, Federal Secretaries Interior, Foreign, Finance, Defense, and Broadcasting, the four provincial chief ministers, four provincial chief secretaries, and IGs of police attended the in-camera meeting.
The briefing arranged against the backdrop of resurgence of terrorism in the country and the recent decision by the government to launch a fresh campaign to stem the tide of this menace.
However, it assumed great significance in view of the current political tensions where the government and Supreme Court are at loggerheads with each other over the issue of holding elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) as well as clipping discretionary powers of the chief justice.
Observers believe the presence of the military leadership means that the army stands behind the government.
According to insiders, General Asim said it was the elected representatives of the people who should determine the destiny of the country and the Army would fully back them.
This seen as significant and in line with the Army Chief’s(COAS) stance that the army must stay away from politics.
In view of the deepening political crisis, General Asim coined a new term. “We should leave the discussion of ‘Naya’ (new) and ‘Purana’ (old) Pakistan and talk about “our Pakistan,” he said with thunderous applause from the lawmakers.
The Army chief also said that Pakistan had no dearth of resources and manpower.
In response to questions asked by the members of the national assembly, Gen Asim said that talking to the banned TTP was a mistake.
After the Taliban takeover, Pakistan initiated talks with the TTP. Initially talks made progress as the two sides entered a ceasefire and Pakistan allowed hundreds of TTP fighters to return as a confidence building measure.
But the move quickly backfired as the returning terrorists started challenging the writ of the state.
The government and the establishment no longer are following the policy of the previous government.
Gen Asim explain that the current campaign against terrorists part of the already approve and ongoing strategy of the State of Pakistan.
This campaign will include all the necessary components of government like legal, economic, social, and foreign besides security institutions,” he maintained.
“This is not a new operation but a whole of nation approach that reflects the unwavering confidence of the people, and which includes all elements of the state,” he clarified.
“At present there is no no-go area in Pakistan, Alhamdulillah,” the Army chief said.
“Behind this success is a large number of martyrs and ghazis who cultivated this country with their blood,” the Army chief remarked.
He said more than 80,000 of them offered sacrifices, including the blood of more than 20,000 Ghaziyans and more than 10,000 martyrs.
“Terrorists have no other option but to accept the writ of the state,” General Asim said.
He added that the security forces were ready to maintain peace in the country, and that intelligence-based operations are being conducted daily in this regard.
Meanwhile, the top military officials briefed the gathering on the internal security situation in the country. The DG Military Operations took the House into confidence regarding law and order and counter-terrorism operations in Waziristan.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif say that peace restore by the great sacrifices of our martyrs, this hard work waste in four years.
The Prime Minister asked why terrorism returned in the country, who brought it? “All the provinces had given funds for the purposes of ending terrorism and reforming FATA, where did those funds go?
Where were the resources of billions of rupees given to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa used? They have to be answered.”
The Army chief congratulated the Parliament and the members on the completion of 50 years of the implementation of the 1973 Constitution and said that the centre of power is the people of Pakistan, the Constitution of Pakistan, and the Parliament are the reflection of the people’s opinion.
He say that the people exercise their opinion through the Constitution and Parliament, the sovereignty belongs to Almighty Allah, and the Constitution empowered by the command of Allah Almighty.
He added that the Constitution says that the power will be exercised by the elected representatives of the people.
Published in the Logical Baat, April 14,2023.