No military operation under way in Balochistan: COAS Kayani
12 February, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has made it emphatically clear that no military operation is under way in Balochistan.
"Not a single soldier of the army is combating in Balochistan," the army chief said here on Saturday while talking to a group of media persons at a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in honour of the visiting President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Prime Minister House.
Admiral Asif Sandhila, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of Air Staff, were also present on the occasion.
To a query, General Kayani said that Frontier Constabulary (FC) is deployed in various parts of the province in aid of the civilian administration under article 245 of the Constitution. He said the FC was working under the provincial government.
The army chief was candid in offering his comments on the situation in Balochistan but declined the impression of the army in any manner having any link with the affairs of the province. "We are maintaining our position strictly in accordance with the Constitution. It's a baseless accusation to suggest that the army is taking part in any action in Balochistan," he said.
The COAS was hopeful that the situation would become normal in the province as the provincial authorities are trying their best to overcome the activities of disgruntled elements.
Earlier, Prime Minister Gilani introduced General Kayani to the Sri Lankan president who inquired about the well-being of his troops. General Kayani responded that the armed forces are in excellent shape and doing their duties diligently. The two also had a brief chat.
The lunch was also attended by former prime minister and president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek, Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali, leader of the house in the Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, opposition leader Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, some federal ministers, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Advisor to the PM Syed Qasim Shah, Defence and Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi and Principal Secretary to the PM Khushnood Lashari.