Army’s in-camera briefing highly appreciated by Senators: DG ISPR

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor Tuesday said that the in-camera briefing to the Senate Committee of the Whole by the Army was highly appreciated by the Senators.

Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, he said the Director General Military Operations’ briefing to the committee lasted for one hour, following which Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa answered the various queries of Senators.

He said it was very encouraging to see that all the Senators were fully aware about the prevailing security environment in the country.

The Senators put very good questions and the COAS gave them detailed answers, he said, adding that all the Senators appreciated the role of Pakistan Army.

The DG ISPR said that it was agreed upon that everyone had to play role in tackling the menace of terrorism.

While briefing the Whole Parliament Committee, DG Military Operations (MO) told that military courts have given verdicts on 274 cases till now, sources said. 

“161 militants have been given death penalties while 56 out of them have been hanged,” DG MO added. 

He further told the committee that 13 were hanged before Operation Rad-ul-Fasaad while 43 were hanged after operation started. 

“160 cases were sent to General Bajwa after he became Army Chief and verdict on 33 have been give,” DG said. 

This is the first time in Pakistan’s political history that an army chief will brief the senate on national security. 

Furthermore, Army Chief briefed the senate about his visits to Afghanistan and Iran. Gen Bajwa is also likely to

The Committee of the Whole House was formed in August on a motion by the leader of the house “to prepare policy guidelines in the light of emerging regional realities and the role of the US”.

Regional security situation following US President Donald Trump’s decision of recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Saudi Arabia’s initiative of Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) were also discussed during the meeting.

The move apparently comes after Senators aisle asked the government last week to take the parliament into confidence over Pakistan’s role in the Saudi-led 41-nation counter-terrorism coalition.

By and large, all the Senators were of the view that Pakistan should send its troops for the defence of holy places in Saudi Arabia, but should not send them for fighting against any other Muslim country.

“Why the defence minister who had attended the inaugural meeting of the IMCTC has not taken the House into confidence,” some of the senators lamented and demanded from the government to share details of the IMCTC’s terms of reference (ToRs) with the parliament.

Pakistan People’s Party Senator Farhatullah Babar said a few months ago that the then defence minister Khawaja Asif had assured the House that the ToRs for participation in the alliance would be placed before the Senate before taking any decision.

Senator Babar said the military commander of the coalition has also been quoted as saying that the coalition encompasses four key areas – ideology, communications, counterterrorism financing and fighting terrorism besides carrying out other international security and peacekeeping efforts.

He was of the view that each of these areas, particularly the one relating to ideology, would have far-reaching consequences for Pakistan.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani had endorsed the standpoint of Senator Babar saying Khawaja Asif, who is now the foreign minister, had assured that the Senate would be taken on board before joining any venture with the Saudi-led military alliance.

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