Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has “expressed satisfaction” with the progress made by stability operations in the militancy-hit tribal region, just days after a White House report gave a harshly critical assessment of Pakistan’s efforts towards “defeating the insurgency” thriving in the country.
General Kayani chaired the 137th Corps Commanders' Conference at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, which was given “comprehensive briefings on internal and external security challenges Pakistan is facing”.
“COAS [Kayani] in his remarks expressed satisfaction over the conduct of stability operations in tribal areas and appreciated the beginning of transition to civilian control in Shangla and Buner,” the Inter Services Public Relations said in a press release.
“He also lauded ongoing efforts by Army Formations in reconstruction being carried out in the flood affected areas of the country,” the ISPR added.
The press release is being interpreted as an effort to counter the recent White House report that said Pakistan’s fight against militants lacked crucial “‘hold’ and ‘build’ planning or staging efforts to complement ongoing clearing operations.”
The White House report noted that the Pakistani military’s effort to clear militants from Mohmand- a part of the northwest Pakistan’s tribal areas- was failing for the third time in two years, which was “a clear indicator of the inability of the Pakistan military and government to render cleared areas resistant to insurgency return.”
The report also said that the country cannot keep its helicopters flying and is reluctant “to accept US-provided helicopter maintenance teams”, part of a broader concern about letting American troops operate openly on the ground in Pakistan.
While Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua termed the references to Pakistan in the report as “unwarranted”, and said emphatically that the country did “not entirely share the US assessment”, the Army chief has not made any public comment on the report so far.
First Published: Saturday, April 09, 2011, 13:29