The country’s top military commanders have vowed to “fight against terrorists without any distinction” as the scourge of terrorism has reared its ugly head again with a fresh wave of attacks in the country.
The reiteration of the resolve was made in a huddle of the corps commanders at the GHQ which was presided over by army chief General Syed Asim Munir.
It was the second corpse commanders’ conference Gen Munir chaired since taking over the baton of command from Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa who doff his uniform after the completion of his extended tenure last month. However, no statement was issued by the military after the first huddle.
“[The] 254th Corps Commanders’ Conference was held at [the] GHQ from 27-28 December 2022. General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), presided [over the conference],” says a statement issued by the military’s media wing.“A comprehensive review of professional and organisational matters of the army was undertaken. It was resolved to fight against terrorists without any distinction and eliminate this menace as per the aspirations of people of the Pakistan,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in the statement.
The military commanders’ huddle also came amid a spike in terrorist attacks across the country claimed mostly by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which unilaterally scrapped a ceasefire in November effectively ending a start-stop negotiation process brokered by the Afghan Taliban.
The TTP, which was comprehensively defeated in a decisive kinetic operation by the military, has found safe havens across the border in Afghanistan from where the group has been directing its terrorist operations in Pakistan.
Islamabad has called these TTP sanctuaries “red-line” and pressed Kabul’s new rulers to take action against them. Experts believe Pakistan’s patience is running thin due to Kabul’s reluctance to crack down on the TTP bases as Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said during his recent US visit that “all options are on the table” to deal with a resurgent TTP.
Unofficial data show a 51% increase in terrorist violence between August 15, 2021, and August 14, 2022 – almost a year since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul. At least 433 people were killed and 719 injured in 250 attacks across Pakistan during this period.
According to analysts, the new COAS, Gen Syed Asim Munir, has steered clear of the creshendoing political noise by staying focused on the military’s constitutional task of defending the territorial integrity of Pakistan.
After taking over the baton from his predecessor, Gen Munir first visited the corps defending the country’s eastern and western borders to boost the morale of his force and to send out a message to adversaries that the army is ready to fight them and defend the country.
At the Rakhchikri Sector of the Line of Control (LoC), Gen Munir took a note of the irresponsible warmongering by Indian leadership with regard to Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK. “Pakistan Army is ever ready and will take the fight back to the enemy, if a war is imposed,” he said.