Ice-breaker: Civil-military leaders discuss Punjab operation

Premier chairs high-level meeting to discuss matters related to national and internal security of the country


Abdul Manan April 05, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:


After a gap of 16 days, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif met on Monday for a consultative meeting on security issues.


According to a statement issued by the PM House, the premier chaired the high-level meeting to discuss matters related to national and internal security of the country. The army chief, who later left for a visit to Germany, also apprised the PM about his visit to Europe.

Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also attended the meeting.

While the PM House did not divulge any more details, insiders in the federal government claimed the Punjab operation dominated discussions during the meeting.

According to sources, the meeting was an ice-breaker between the civil and military leadership after the launch of a military operation in Punjab in the wake of the Lahore blast.

They said the military was interested in requisitioning paramilitary Rangers in Punjab with special policing powers but the PM had ordered Punjab police and Counter-Terrorism Department to carry on their operations with the support of Rangers and army if they needed.

The sources said the military leadership apparently agreed with the PM on Monday and extensively discussed the ongoing Punjab operation, militancy, extremism and sectarianism.

They added the civil and military leaders also briefly discussed Balochistan and Karachi issues.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.

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