Pakistan's borders are secured, prepared to meet 'any' challenge: Gen Bajwa
Islamabad, Aug 30: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday assured lawmakers that the country''s borders are secured and his forces are prepared to meet "any" situation, amid the evolving situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Briefing members of parliamentary committees on internal and external security, including Kashmir, at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, Gen Bajwa also highlighted the importance of restoration of peace in war-torn Afghanistan for sustainable development of the region.
"Due to our timely steps for western zone border management, today despite challenges Pakistan's borders are secure and we are prepared to meet any situation," Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the army.
The delegation comprising members of the Parliamentary Kashmir Committee, Defence Committees of the Senate and National Assembly was given detailed briefing on the security environment, including the situation on the borders and army efforts for peace and stability. The delegation also had an exhaustive interactive session with General Bajwa.
It was the first security briefing by the military authorities to parliamentarians since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August and the deadly terrorist attacks carried out by the so-called Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) in the neighbouring country, Dawn reported.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. This forced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country to the UAE.
Gen Bajwa also said that peace without resolution of the Kashmir issue was not possible.
"The world must know that without a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, peace and stability will remain illusive," Gen Bajwa said as he reiterated the army's support and commitment to Kashmir cause and people of Kashmir.
The briefing session concluded with resolve to continue the struggle against violent extremism through a synergetic, whole-of-the-nation approach, according to the ISPR statement.
Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said that Pakistan Army is present along the border with Afghanistan to defend every inch of the country. "Around 2,690 kilometres of Pak-Afghan frontier has been fenced."
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani had demanded that instead of the GHQ, the briefing should be held in the Parliament House.
On July 1, a similar briefing was given to parliamentary leaders of political parties at the Parliament House during which military and intelligence leaders had called for avoiding divisive politics on issues of national interest and cautioned that strategic challenges and related policy shift in external relations could have repercussions for the country.
The previous briefing was reportedly given by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to parliamentary leaders, including Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, on the spectrum of possible threats and regional environment - the situation that was emerging in Afghanistan at that time in the wake of US troop withdrawal and the stalemate in peace talks.
The Army chief had also responded to questions of the parliamentarians after the briefing.
Since August 15 following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, the opposition parties have been asking the government to convene a joint sitting of Parliament and brief them on the regional situation and develop a national consensus on the challenges that the country may face, the report added.