Pakistan: Army ordered to hit back

Corps commanders discuss latest US strategy

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army has been ordered to retaliate against any action by foreign troops inside the country, Geo News quoted ISPR spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas as saying on Thursday night.

Shakil Shaikh adds from Islamabad: Pakistan’s military commanders resolved to defend the country’s borders without allowing any external forces to conduct operations inside Pakistan.

The military commanders expressed this resolve on the first day of the two-day Corps Commanders conference, which began here on Thursday at the General Headquarters. Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the all-important conference against the backdrop of the new strategic developments taking place in the region.

General Kayani has already rebuffed the American policy of including Pakistani territory in their operations against terrorists and those hiding in the areas bordering Afghanistan. Reports say that the US President Bush has allowed air raids from drones and ground operations in Pakistani areas including FATA.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has termed General Kayani’s response to the Americans as a true reflection of the government’s policy. The military commanders are understood to have discussed the implications of the American attacks inside Pakistan and took stock of the public feeling.

“In his statement, Genral Kayani has represented the feeling of the entire nation, as random attacks inside Pakistan have angered each and every Pakistani,” said a senior official. As the corps commanders continue their discussion on Friday, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has supported the Bush administration’s policy of conducting attacks inside Pakistan.

President Zardari is expected to talk to Mr. Brown on this issue during his first visit to Britain next week. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, is also learnt to have already talked to senior security officials in Washington. The latest spate of attacks from drones in Fata has killed many innocent people recently, which has only added to the gravity and complexity of the situation.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Source: The News

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