Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gilani, Karzai resolve to root out extremists

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have expressed their resolve to root out militants and terrorists from their respective sides of Pak-Afghan border. During the meeting that took place at the Prime Minister House here Wednesday, President Karzai stated that his government would also launch an operation in Afghanistan similar to that of Pakistan against these elements in the immediate future and will fully back Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism.

Both leaders also discussed ways and means to enhance the mechanism for intelligence sharing, cooperation in the defence field and strengthening of people to people contacts through increased parliamentary exchanges.

Prime Minister said that successful meeting of Third Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), in Islamabad, was reflective of Pakistan’s commitment to support the development of Afghanistan by every possible means.

He termed RECCA meeting as a major landmark not only for greatly strengthening relations with Afghanistan under the democratic government in Pakistan but also for overall peace, stability and economic prosperity of the region.

The Prime Minister shared with the Afghan President his government’s steadfast commitment to do every thing necessary to sustain the new spirit of relationship between their two countries through development of regional infrastructure and integrated border management system as well as further improving bilateral trade and economic ties.

President Karzai agreed with the Prime Minister that continuous drone attacks had only served to the detriment of government of Pakistan’s 3-D strategy meant to isolate the militants from the tribes.

President Karzai appreciated government of Pakistan’s assistance and its constructive role in the development of Afghanistan and termed the continued strong Pakistan-Afghanistan friendship as vitally important for the peace, stability and prosperity of his country.

In the remarks during the luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister in his honour, the Afghan President thanked the government and people of Pakistan for extending hospitality and hosting the Afghan refugees for all these years.

Later a separate meeting was held between the Prime Minister and President Karzai which was also attended by Foreign Ministers of the two countries and the Chief of Army Staff. The overall security situation of the region came under discussion during that meeting.

COAS orders troops to minimise civilian casualties

RAWALPINDI:Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaz Kayani has instructed the Army to ensure minimum collateral damage even at the expense of taking risks, by resorting to precision strikes.

Pakistan Army is acutely aware of the nature of ongoing operations in Swat and elsewhere, and their likely fallouts.

Consequent to any military operation in populated areas, collateral damage and IDP issues are always a natural outcome. Infact the overall success of operations in such areas is a sum total of the three efforts i-e conduct of military operations, minimizing collateral damage and correctly managing IDPs.

COAS said that management of IDPs is as important as military operation in Swat. It has been decided to provide all out support to Government and International Agencies in the management and rehabilitation of IDPs. For this purpose a Corps Headquarters headed by Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed (Ex Deputy Chairman ERRA) has been tasked to form a Special Support Group for IDPs, for coordinating and directing all efforts of Government, Army and other Agencies for optimal utilization of resources in providing relief.

For the first time in its history, Pakistan Army has taken a decision to give part of its daily ration (items of daily food; Atta, Sugar, Ghee and Dhall) to these IDPs. This exemplifies the Army’s spirit of sacrifice. The food items so provided will be able to daily feed about 80,000 adults. Furthermore, Army is deploying its medical resources in all the IDPs camps. These medical camps will have adequate medicines for 90 days. Local Military Hospitals will also go on surge to treat patients.

Inshallah, together the Pakistani Nation and Army, will provide relief to the IDPs in a manner, which will rekindle the memories of 2005 Earthquake relief effort.