RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has acknowledged clerics’ contributions towards peace and harmony in the country, says a statement released by military’s media wing on Wednesday.
“[The] COAS met religious scholars of FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Peshawar. He lauded their support in fight against terrorism and acknowledged their contributions for peace and harmony,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in the statement.
It stated that ulema unanimously condemned terrorism and pledged their continued support to efforts of security forces for bringing peace and stability.
“Pakistan belongs to all Pakistanis without any religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or any other identity,” the army chief was quoted as having said. The Peshawar Corps Commander was also present on the occasion.
Separately, the army chief visited Pak-Afghan border in Bajaur Agency.
He was given a detailed briefing regarding the state’s ongoing efforts to effectively check terrorist infiltration routes from across the border, progress on fencing, construction of new forts, posts along the border and development of new tracks to facilitate local public.
Interacting with the troops, the army chief, appreciated their high morale and effective border security which resulted in averting cross-border attack attempts by terrorists.
Pakistani officials have repeatedly said that the Taliban terrorists, who fled a series of military operations in tribal regions, have found safe havens in northern, eastern and northeastern Afghanistan.
These Taliban terrorists use their sanctuaries as a springboard for launching cross-border attacks on Pakistani military’s border posts and on civilian population.
Kabul is reluctant to dismantle these sanctuaries despite repeated requests from Islamabad. Instead Afghanistan blames Pakistan for sheltering the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan has started fencing its long and porous border with Afghanistan to check the movement of Taliban terrorists from Afghanistan. Kabul, however, is opposed to the fencing of border which it claims is disputed.