COAS Gen Bajwa briefs Senate committee on national security

  • Bajwa says border management essential to strengthen Pak-Afghan border
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday reached the parliament house to brief the Senate committee of the Whole House on matters pertaining to national security.

Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, DG ISI Naveed Mukhtar, and DG Military Operations (DGMO) Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza have also reached the Senate to attend the session.

As the army chief started addressing the committee, he termed his visit to the parliament a matter of honour.

He said that visiting the different countries was an important part of military diplomacy. He added that the army was giving much importance to geostrategic situation.

Regarding Afghanistan, Bajwa said that border management was essential to strengthen the Pak-Afghan border, adding that Pakistan could not stay away from changing situation in Afghanistan.

Dawn news quoting sources stated that the military leadership also informed the committee that military courts decided 275 cases and awarded 161 death sentences since its start in 2015. They further informed that 56 had been hanged to death so far.

DGMO

The DGMO reportedly briefed the senators regarding the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, adding that numbers of combing and intelligence-based operations have been launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and other parts of the country under the operation.

The DGMO also reportedly informed the senator about the performance of Rangers in Karachi since 2013. He said that the Rangers apprehended 8,780 and handed over them to the police, besides seizing huge cache of weapons.

Arrival of Army Chief 

The army chief reached the Parliament House via a helicopter. Deputy Chairman of the Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri received the army chief.

Before going to Senate hall, COAS Bajwa held a meeting with Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani in his chamber.

The in-camera meeting continued for around 4 hours where the army chief and DG Military Operations briefed members on the prevailing national security paradigm for Pakistan with respect to recent visits by the US officials and others.

According to the notice, the committee had been formed “to prepare policy guidelines in the light of emerging regional realities and the role of the United States”

Relations between Pakistan and the US deteriorated after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of allegedly providing shelter to militants while announcing his South Asia policy in August.

Later, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Pakistan and held meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Army chief and other officials. During the meeting, Pakistan informed them that there were not safe havens of terrorists in the country, however, they urged Pakistan to redouble its efforts in this regard.

On Monday, Trump stuck to his point of pressing Pakistan to take decisive action against the militant and terrorist groups.

US urges Pakistan to demonstrate responsible stewardship of nuclear assets

DG ISPR’s Briefing

After the Senate committee session, the Director-General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor shared some details from the briefing and said he will do a detailed press conference regarding the session in three to four days.

“COAS briefed the Senate members on Pakistan’s policy on the war against terrorism. DGMO gave a detailed briefing on the security situation,” the DG ISPR said.

The official highlighted that senators expressed their pleasure in meeting COAS and acknowledged the sacrifices of the Armed Forces adding that till we are united no one can defeat us.