Army chief General Qamar Bajwa acknowledged on Wednesday clerics’ “contributions towards peace and harmony” in the country.
“[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.
Ulema, the ISPR statement claimed, 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 saying.
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.
The COAS, while interacting with the troops, 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.