Tag Archives: COAS

COAS leaves for China to discuss strategic issues



ISLAMABAD: 

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Monday left for an official visit to Beijing. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief will hold talks with top Chinese political and military leadership on strategic issues.

“During the visit, the COAS will call on China’s political and military leadership. The interaction will encompass Pak-China relations with particular emphasis on defence and security cooperation,” said the statement.

Sources familiar with the itinerary said that apart from bilateral security and defence cooperation, the army chief would discuss the current regional situation particularly in Afghanistan.

Both Pakistan and China are closely watching developments unfolding in Afghanistan ahead of the US drawdown from there by the end of this year.

The two countries are seeking a clear roadmap leading to long term peace and stability in Afghanistan.

General Raheel is also expected to brief the Chinese leadership about the steps Islamabad has taken to deal with the threat of militancy stemming from the tribal areas.

Beijing has been following developments in the ongoing infighting within the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) because it believes that some militant groups in tribal areas are linked to the separatist movement in its Xinjiang region.

The leadership in China has publically praised Islamabad’s efforts in the battle against extremism. However, privately it has urged Pakistan to eliminate militant outfits linked to stoking unrest in Xinjiang.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2014.


Pakistan-India relations: Shahbaz meets COAS



LAHORE: 

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to discuss Pakistan-India relations in the wake of recent shift of power in New Delhi.

According to well-placed sources, both the CM Punjab and COAS discussed India’s prime minister-in-waiting Narindra Modi’s invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to participate in his oath-taking ceremony on May 26 along with SAARC nations’ heads.

They said that both Raheel Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif agreed that in view of the advice of various stakeholders a high-powered delegation, instead of the PM, should attend the ceremony.

The sources said CM Shahbaz and Raheel Sharif discussed composition of the delegation and the possible issues the Pakistani delegation could face during its trip.

They said Shahbaz along with PM’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Adviser to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz are likely to participate in the oath-taking ceremony.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2014. 


Kabul trip: COAS discussed security situation in Afghanistan with ANSF chief



The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif during his visit to Kabul on Monday, reviewed the security situation in Afghanistan along with the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

Furthermore, he discussed ways of enhancing Pak-Afghan bilateralism with emphasis on coordinated mechanism along the border.

The COAS was also part of a tripartite meeting with the Afghan army chief and ISAF Commander General Dunford.

The meeting extensively discussed bilateral and trilateral cooperation with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Gen Sharif said that Pakistan considers security and terrorism is the common enemy of both countries.

The Afghan Defence Ministry said Sunday that General Raheel Sharif will represent Pakistan in the trilateral meeting with Afghan Chief of Army Staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi and International Security Assistance Force Commander General Joseph Dunford.

“The Chief of the Army Staff will be going to Kabul on Monday for a day-long visit. He will hold important meetings with Afghan military and ISAF commanders” a text message from the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said, confirming the visit.

General Raheel will be attending the trilateral meeting in Kabul for the first time, the Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson General Zahir Azeemi said in a statement.


Tripartite in Kabul: COAS to discuss anti-terror fight with Afghan, NATO commanders



ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is scheduled to travel to Kabul on Monday to meet top Afghan and Nato commanders to discuss cooperation in the anti-terror fight and overall security situation, say Afghan officials.

The Afghan Defence Ministry said Sunday that General Raheel Sharif will represent Pakistan in the trilateral meeting with Afghan Chief of Army Staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi and International Security Assistance Force Commander General Joseph Dunford.

A diplomatic source in the Pakistani embassy in Kabul also confirmed to The Express Tribune over the phone that the army chief will attend the trilateral meeting.

The army’s Inter-Service Public Relations has not replied to queries.

General Raheel will be attending the trilateral meeting in Kabul for the first time, the Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson General Zahir Azeemi said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

“The tripartite meeting is aimed at discussing cooperation in security and in fighting terrorism,” the Afghan defence ministry said.

The meeting is important as it takes place at a time when foreign troops are devising an exit strategy and Afghanistan and Nato need Pakistan cooperation to ward off any threat to Afghan security.

General Raheel Sharif’s visit coincides with recent tensions along the border in Balochistan.

Afghanistan claimed on Thursday that one of its border police officers was killed as clashes broke out with Pakistani troops along the border in southern Kandahar province.

The Afghan Interior Ministry had also alleged that Pakistani forces had started “construction of bunkers and check posts inside the Afghan territory” in the Maroof district of Kandahar.

The Pakistan Army had rejected these claims by Afghan officials and in turn accused Afghan forces of firing at a Pakistani post.

A security official had stated that the Afghan National Army troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Pakistani post in Loe Bund area near Qilla Saifullah in Balochistan province.

The Afghan interior ministry insists that no country can build any checkpoint and bunker four kilometers of the border under the tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nato.

They claim Pakistani forces have violated the agreement and dug bunkers and built posts two kilometers near the Zero Point along the border.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly 2500 kilometers of a joint border and both routinely accuse each other of cross-border attacks.

Pakistan says that senior leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have regrouped fighters in the Afghanistan border region and frequently launch attacks on Pakistani border posts.

Officials also say that the TTP chief, Maulvi Fazalullah, leads his men in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.

In February Pakistan said that the TTP executed 23 Frontier Corps soldiers inside Afghanistan. The FC men had been kidnapped from a check post in Mohmand agency in 2010 and were believed to have been taken to other side of the border. Pakistan had lodged a formal protest over the incident.


Army supports all efforts to eliminate terrorism, restore peace: COAS



RAWALPINDI: “Pakistan Army supports all efforts to eliminate terrorism and restore peace in the country, and it is our earnest desire that all elements fighting against the state should unconditionally submit to the country’s constitution and law and come back to the national main stream,” said Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

Addressing the Youm-e-Shuhada (Martyrs Day) ceremony in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday evening, General Sharif asked anti-state elements to unconditionally accept Pakistan’s Constitution and join the national mainstream otherwise the military “with the support of people will take them to task.”

In his first public speech since he became the Army Chief in November last year, General Sharif said that ‘democracy is the only way forward’ to join developed nations of the world.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of dignitaries including Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and former Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

But General Raheel’s carefully worded speech, where he unequivocally supported the democracy and freedom of media indicated that tensions between the civil and military leadership had defused.

However, he made it clear that there was no room for any doubt about ‘our ability to deal with’ insurgents.

“The brave people of Pakistan and the army has the full capacity to take such elements to task,” he stressed.

The Army Chief also spoke on the development work undertaken by the military in the restive Balochistan province.

He also termed Pakistan’s Army as a representative of all the four provinces, key for the national unity, symbol of nationalism and guarantor of the defence of the country.

“The induction of over 20,000 officers and soldiers in the Pakistan army from Balochistan is a testament to the province’s trust in the military,” he remarked.

He also termed Kashmir as a ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan and called for its resolution in line of the aspirations of the Kashmir people.

“Sacrifices of Kashmirs will not go in vein. Pakistan Army is in favor of peace but is always ready to respond to any aggression in befitting manner.”


Much-needed development: COAS opens college, medical institute at Saidu Sharif



RAWALPINDI: 

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited Swat on Wednesday and inaugurated a postgraduate college and a paramedical institute at Saidu Sharif. These projects were completed by Pakistan army engineers as part of the post-operation reconstruction phase under the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UPAP).   

According to an ISPR press release, 52 education and seven health projects have already been completed in FATA/K-P during the last few years by the army engineers in Malakand and Swat, reaching approximately five million people.

The Government Post Graduate Jahanzeb College is a state-of-the-art education facility for 600 students while Paramedical Institute Saidu Sharif will accommodate 300 students with a hostel facility for 82 boys and 52 girls.

The COAS thanked the government and people of the United Arab Emirates for their support in this noble cause, as these projects will significantly contribute in socio-economic uplift in the areas badly affected by terrorism.

The COAS reiterated that the army would continue to play its role in rebuilding the area and contribute towards long term peace, stability and social development.

UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, Essa Abdullah Al-Bassha Al-Noaimi and Director UPAP Abdullah Al Ghefeli along with other diplomats from UAE were also present on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2014.


We will defeat every threat to our motherland: COAS Raheel Sharif



RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited Kotri Ranges to witness field firing and the battle inoculation exercise of Karachi Corps on Wednesday, according to a press release issued by the government.  

On his arrival, he was received by Karachi Corps commander lieutenant general Sajjad Ghani.

These exercises are aimed at training troops in various tactical operations under a battlefield environment. Fighter aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and armoured fighting vehicles of the mechanized division also participated in live firing maneuvers as part of the field firing.

The COAS commended the standard of training of the participating troops and lauded their skills. He specifically commended their precision and accuracy in engaging the targets and said that strenuous training along with strong vigilance are the only guarantors of peace.

Army chief Raheel Sharif took the opportunity to go over the resolve of the armed forces and stressed that the army will accomplish their mission of defeating “every threat to our motherland in accordance with the expectation of the people of Pakistan”.


COAS Raheel Sharif visits LoC

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the troops deployed in localities along the Line of Control (LoC).    

He appreciated the high state of morale, operational preparedness and vigil being maintained by troops on the front line.

He also paid a tribute to the sacrifices made by officers and Pakistan Army along the LoC, an ISPR press release stated.

Earlier, on arrival at the LoC, General Sharif was briefed by the local formation commander on the prevailing security situation at the LoC.

Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Corps commander accompanied him during his visit to the Line of Control.


New COAS Gen Raheel Sharif holds his first Corps Commanders meeting

RAWALPINDI: Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif chaired his first Corps Commander meeting at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday.

According to a release from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Sharif chaired the 167th Corps Commander Conference.

The conference is part of routine monthly meetings but the 167th meeting comes just over a week after the 166th meeting which was chaired by the outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

According to the ISPR, Friday’s meeting dwelt on various professional matters of the army.

The commanders also under took a comprehensive review of prevalent internal and external security situation of the country.


Kayani’s term as COAS should not be extended: Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s term as Chief of Army Staff should not be extended any further, while speaking in an interview on Express News.

Talking to anchorperson Javed Chaudhry in a show called “Kal Tak”, PTI chairman said he appreciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for calling the All Parties Conference (APC) to devise counter-terrorism strategies.

He, however, added that in order to curtail crime, national institutions needed to be strengthened, as opposed to individuals and therefore General Kayani’s tenure should not be extended.

Asserting that the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf had also weakened institutions, he said that he wanted cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari to re-open.

“Just because someone is in good terms with the leading party does not mean that they should not be made answerable to their actions,” he said, signalling towards improving ties between former president Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, Asif Ali Zardari had said in a press conference in Lahore that he won’t let Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s government falter because he was committed to strengthening democracy.

While speaking about the ongoing security situation in Karachi, Khan said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was the first political party to initiate extortion, and other parties followed in their footsteps.

Taliban talks

On the subject of peace talks with the Taliban, Imran Khan said a ceasefire between the two sides was imperative if talks are to succeed and peace given a chance.

“Ceasefire should be immediately imposed,” he said, “especially since it has already been decided in the APC to pursue dialogue as the first option.”