Pakistan Army urges troops to avoid collateral damage

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Islamabad, Oct 20 : Pakistan Army has advised troops to avoid collateral damage while tackling extremists and other anti state elements. Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, during his visit to Headquarters Southern Command in Quetta and troops deployed in Kohlu and Sui, said, ''tackling extremists and misguided elements demanded prudence, confidence and understanding because we are dealing with our own people.'' Gen Kayani was briefed on the security situation in Balochistan, operational preparedness and development works being undertaken with the army's assistance.

Pakistan Army besides assisting the Provincial Government in maintaining law and order situation in the province, was providing tremendous support for the development of Balochistan, he said.

''Rs 10 to 11 billion are being spent on the development of Kohlu and Dera Bugti alone,'' he said.

Special seats had been reserved for the students of Balochistan in several military establishments. The government had also relaxed merit standards for Balochistan's youth to encourage them to join the army.

Army had also established a Balochistan School of Technical Education and was providing technical education to more than 600 youth.

General Kayani said Army's role manifests a progressive national approach towards bringing the most backward and downtrodden human resource of Balochistan into national main stream.

He highlighted Army's efforts to open up Chamalang Coal Mines which were closed since last 30 years due to feudal and tribal feuds.

Pakistan Army was a national institution which had a blend of officers and men from all four Provinces, Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas, he noted.


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