Islamabad: Pakistan`s powerful army chief
Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday pledged to continue the fight
against al Qaeda and its affiliates but said there could be no
military solution to the problem of terrorism.
"Pakistan`s commitment to the war against al Qaeda
and its affiliates is total and unwavering. Pakistan firmly
believes in taking stern action against all terrorists
groups," Kayani said in his address to a seminar at Mingora in
Swat district, a former stronghold of the Taliban.
The army is "determined to lead the fight on terror
in partnership with other law enforcement agencies" and in
line with the constitution, Kayani said.
"Let me reiterate that there is no military solution
to terrorism since military strategy can only provide an
enabling environment," he added.
Terrorism has to be tackled "in the domain of
national security, which warrants a comprehensive response
entailing synergy by all elements of national power", he said
without giving details.
The seminar was organised by the military to discuss
ways to de-radicalise persons who were earlier under the
influence of militants.
The Taliban had established a parallel administration
in Swat and controlled most parts of the scenic region located
160 km from Islamabad till the army launched an operation in
2009 to flush out the rebels.
The Pakistan Army is following a "well thought out
campaign plan" against the militants that is succeeding and
"providing space to other organs of the state, which must
expeditiously build on military success" to achieve durable
peace and stability, Kayani said.
The army derives its strength from the people and "is
answerable to the people and their representatives in the
parliament", he said.
The army considers the peoples` support vital for its
operations against terrorists and believes only the people can
"determine the national interest and the army`s role in their
achievement", he added.
Kayani`s remarks came against the backdrop of
unprecedented criticism of the military in the wake of the
covert US raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in
the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.