Army bows to no one but the people, says Kayani


Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani reiterated the army’s commitment to fighting militancy on Wednesday and said the military was answerable to the people and their representatives in parliament.
“Pakistan Army, being a national army, derives its strength from the people of Pakistan and is answerable to the people and their representatives in parliament,” Gen Kayani told participants of a national seminar on de-radicalisation held in Swat. He said the army considered the people’s support vital to its operations against terrorists. The army chief said the army had suffered 985 casualties (including 228 officers and men killed and 757 wounded) with the highest officers-to-troops casualty ratio of 1:8 in recorded military history. Also, there were 595 casualties of other law enforcement agencies and 981 of civilians, he said. “When we were still in the recovery process, Swat was hit by the worst floods in its history. It further compounded the problem,” he said.
‘DE-INDOCTRINATING’: He said de-radicalisation, as a process, was gaining prominence in many parts of the world. There was general consensus in societies that national security interests were better served by “de-indoctrinating” radicals and reintegrating them back into society. It would be prudent for all elements of national power to take a holistic view of national security, said Kayani. Today, no single organ of the state was configured to mount a wholesome response to the challenges confronting national security, he added. “Let me reiterate that there is no military solution to terrorism since military strategy can only provide an enabling environment. The menace 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.