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General Kayani against army’s role in conflicts

ISLAMABAD: Army
chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had asked politicians in the All
Parties Conference, which met on Thursday, that political options should
be availed to resolve internal irritants and conflicts instead of
engaging the army in military operations against its own people.

Sources
said in the APC, General Kayani showed his opposition to military
operations and said that such options do not always pay and prove
counter-productive.

The army chief suggested to the APC that
betting on political options was the best way for conflict resolution.
He said the army could be called in aid of the civil administration as a
last option but it should always be the political option that should be
preferred over military action.

According to a source who
attended the APC, the army chief admitted that the military only sees
white and black and there is no grey areas for it whereas in politics it
is the grey that really matters and gives politicians a lot of room to
effectively deal with issues. Kayani said the option of engaging army in
military operations, one after the other, does not work without
political interventions.

The APC too opposed the option of
military action in North Waziristan as demanded by Washington. Instead,
the APC approved a paradigm shift in the present policy on the war on
terror as it asked for initiation of dialogue process with Taliban in
tribal areas by emphasizing “peace and reconciliation” as focus of the
new policy. Washington, however, must be disappointed to see the
Pakistani politicians and the army jointly and unanimously voicing their
opposition to the military operation in North Waziristan.

It
might also not sound music to Washington that all the 46 political
parties which participated in the all parties conference (APC) showed
their complete trust in Pakistan Army and the ISI and jointly rejected
US assertions that the Pakistani establishment was involved in exporting
terrorism or waging a proxy war within Afghanistan.

No matter
what the political leaders usually discuss in talk shows or how they
express their reservations pertaining to certain actions of the military
establishment, the outcome of the APC proved the hard fact — all the
political parties trusted everything that Army chief Ashfaq Parvez
Kayani and ISI Chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha told them in the conference.

Although,
the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was quoted to have raised his serious
doubts about the military establishment during the APC session, the
resolution unanimously adopted and signed by Sharif too strongly
rejected the US assertions against the ISI and endorsed the
establishment’s role regarding the security of Pakistan.

During
the APC, the ISI chief was asked about the agency’s links with the
Haqqani network. General Shuja Pasha categorically rejected that the
ISI, in any manner, was involved in the recent attacks on the US
interests in Kabul or was fighting a proxy war through the Taliban in
Afghanistan.

It was Pasha’s explanations after which the APC
unanimously rejected what it called “the recent (US) assertions and
baseless allegations made against Pakistan”. Such assertions, the APC
noted in its resolution, are without substance and derogatory to a
partnership approach. The APC also voiced to the whole world, “The
Pakistani nation affirms its full solidarity and support for the armed
forces of Pakistan in defeating any threat to national security.”

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