Army Chief Rules Out Talks With 'Groups'

Army Chief Rules Out Talks With 'Groups'
Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir on Monday categorically ruled out talks with any groups who refuse to accept Pakistan's Constitution, noting that talks will only be held with the interim regime in Kabul.

He said this while addressing a special grand jirga in Peshawar. The jirga was attended by tribal chiefs, elders and representatives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

During the jirga, the army chief reiterated that the military was undertaking a 'Jihad'; their aim and motto was to either embrace martyrdom or be 'Ghazis'. Surely, victory will be theirs.

My army and I will fight terrorism until our last breaths, he said.

He pointed out that the Pakistani Constitution only recognizes God as the true sovereign while implementing an Islamic way of life in the country.

The army chief questioned what kind of shariah the miscreants wished to impose on the country.

"Islam is a religion of peace and security. Those who used it as a pretext to advance their hidden agenda of terrorism will have to answer for their actions," he asserted.

"The terrorists have no option but to surrender before the state," he stated.

Addressing the interim government of the Afghan Taliban in Kabul, the army chief asked rhetorically can a favour be repaid in any other format apart from a favour.

He asserted that they would not talk with any group and that any discussions would be between Islamabad and Kabul.

Gen Munir also dilated on Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, stating that while living within the territorial bounds of Pakistan, they must obey its laws.

He reiterated the military's solidarity with all security agencies of the country, including the police and that those working to disrupt peace in the country are surely not from amongst its patriotic citizenry.

Gen Munir hailed the immense sacrifices rendered by KP's police force.

Noting that Pakistan is only the second country in the world created specifically for Muslims after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) established the State of Medinah, he said that no power on earth can undo Pakistan.

Merging tribal districts

Talking about the merger of tribal districts, Gen Munir said that a secretariat would be set up to address the problems faced by residents of these areas in integrating with the settled districts.

We will ensure the participation of the tribal people in development projects initiated in the merged districts for their economic and infrastructure development.

Gen Bajwa disclosed that together with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they will initiate development projects worth Rs81 billion in the merged districts.

These include 43 projects relating to the police worth Rs7 billion. Moreover, 54 development under progress in the merged districts will be completed soon.

Tribal elders later offered a special prayer for the peace and prosperity of the country. They reiterated their support for the military.