ISLAMABAD  - The military commanders 'informally' met on Thursday in order to have a farewell interactive session with one of their outgoing top generals, in addition to discussing the declining security situation in different parts of Pakistan.

Widely described as Corps Commanders Conference, the meet-up, according to a military source, was actually 'informal' in nature. "This would be incorrect to assume that monthly Corps Commanders Conference had taken place. It was an unofficial meet-up although several important issues were discussed at length," the source, brigadier by rank, commented.

"This is why no official word has come on today's meeting," he said while trying to reason why a press release was not issued.

According to him, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne had visited the General Headquarters to meet Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and have a farewell interactive session with other senior generals including corps commanders, principal staff officers (PSO) military spymasters and a couple of major generals who were summoned for professional briefings.

"The CJCSC does not attend corps commanders conferences. It's not within his mandate to do so. The commanders' moot is chaired by the COAS whereas the CJCSC is entitled to more organisational protocol than the army chief. He can't attend the conference with COAS in the chair," the military official said.

The incumbent CJCSC would reach the age of superannuation on the coming Monday (October 7). Effectively, the general would wind up from his office on Friday (today) (considering weekend holidays on Saturday and Sunday) but he would officially surrender his charge on Monday, purportedly. The Nation had reported on Tuesday that Ministry of Defence (MoD) had sent a summary containing three names to Prime Minister Secretariat for the appointment of new CJCSC. All the three purported candidates whose names are in the summary are said to be military men with Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam, Chief of Logistics Staff, being the reportedly final probable for the CJCSC slot. The other two reported names are Lt-Gen Rashad Mehmood, Chief of General Staff (CGS) and Lt-Gen Raheel Sharif, Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IG T&E). PM Nawaz Sharif would announce the new CJCSC expectedly by this week.

Earlier, the PM Secretariat had reportedly returned the MoD summary on CJCSC appointment citing that certain official procedures were not followed. A fresh summary was reportedly moved last week when the PM was abroad.   Moreover, the commanders meet-up on Thursday is said to have discussed ongoing targeted operations in Karachi and Dir besides reviewing security situation with particular focus on Peshawar and Awaran, the two troubled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, where recent terror attacks have brought new security challenges.

Sindh Rangers, a Pakistan Army-led paramilitary force, had launched a targeted operation against the miscreants in Karachi in coordination with the police on the directions of federal and provincial governments, last month.

In KPK, following a series of deadly bombings in Peshawar, the provincial government says it is bracing for a targeted operation in the provincial capital to be launched jointly by army, its another paramilitary wing Frontier Corps, and police. Furthermore, the security concerns in Dir, another KP district, have recently risen to maximum with the killing of General Officer Commanding  (GOC) 17 Infantry Division Swat Major General Sanaullah Khan in Upper Dir.  During a recent visit to the headquarters of 17 Infantry Div and 19 Infantry Div in Swat, General Kayani had reportedly given a go-ahead to a targeted operation against the terrorists in Upper Dir.

In Balochistan, the military men engaged in relief operations in the quake-hit district of Awaran have repeatedly come under attacks from the militants. The GOC 33 Infantry Div Quetta Maj-Gen Samrez Salik and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj-Gen (r) Aleem Saeed had a narrow escape in a rocket attack during their visit to the area last week. On Monday, Military Spokesman Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa reiterated that Pakistan Army would retaliate if attacked in Awaran again. His claims, however, looked to have stood completely undermined following a fresh attack on military troops in the same district on Wednesday that killed two soldiers and injured three.

The security scenario in these four districts was discussed and operational adjustments were made accordingly, according to the army brigadier.