ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday and discussed with him the needs of the armed forces.
Officials said the army chief’s visit to the PM House was in context of the upcoming national budget for fiscal year 2010-11. The COAS apprised the premier of the financial constraints the army was working under. The forces have to bear immense financial costs because of the ongoing operation against terrorists, he said. General Kayani added that the military was not only focusing on internal security issues in Malakand and tribal areas but also have to remain vigilant on the eastern borders.
He also brought up the matter of procurement of new weapons systems for modernisation and to keep the armed forces of Pakistan at par with the continuous massive arms build-up by the neighbour on the east. He also apprised the prime minister of the overall security situation, including progress on campaign against terrorism. The premier assured the army chief that the government will provide all required resources to meet the needs of the armed forces. He praised the role of the security forces in successfully combating the terrorist threat.
He said the nation salutes the “martyrs of our armed forces” who have sacrificed their lives fighting the terrorists. The meeting was attended by Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor to the PM on Finance and Economic Affairs, Salman Siddiqui, Secretary Finance, and other senior officials.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 25th, 2010.