Islamabad -  Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday said that Indian propaganda regarding presence of militants along the Line of Control (LoC) was aimed at spreading unrest in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to the ISPR, the army chief made these remarks during a visit to the LoC in Kel sector and also visited a forward post at Sharda.

Appreciating state of operational preparedness of the troops and response to ceasefire violations (CFVs), Gen Bajwa said that Indian propaganda would never succeed.

The COAS said that people of the AJK were fully aware of Indian atrocities in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) and their agendas. Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan Army shall continue to ensure protection and security of people along the LoC.

He also directed to ensure progress and development works in the area in coordination with the AJK government.

Major General Azhar Abbas, general officer commanding Murree briefed him on the situation along the LoC and CFVs by India in the recent months.

The COAS was also apprised of army's support to ongoing housing and population census.

Earlier, on arrival, the army chief was received by Rawalpindi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza.

‘INDIAN OCEAN CHALLENGES POSE THREAT TO PAK SECURITY’

Emerging challenges in the Indian Ocean Region pose a serious threat to Pakistan’s security and interests and a comprehensive strategy is required for addressing them, a roundtable yesterday concluded.

The roundtable on Maritime Security was hosted by the Center for Pakistan and Gulf Studies in collaboration with German Foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

The deliberations at the roundtable would feed into a daylong national conference being organized by CPGS and KAS on ‘Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: Challenges and Prospects for Pakistan’ on March 27.

The roundtable had concluded that challenges to peace in IOR are mainly emanating from its nuclearization and power projection by states maintaining presence in the area and emerging alliances in the region.

Additionally, challenges like terrorism, piracy and environmental concerns are further complicating the scenario. Pakistan’s participation in China’s One-Belt One Road initiative, meanwhile, adds to the urgency for developing a strategy for dealing with the threats to peace.

Pakistan has already taken several steps including the raising of a special maritime force Task Force - 88 (TF-88) for protection of Gwadar Port and its sea lanes. But, CPGS believes a bigger effort is required.

President CPGS Senator Sehar Kamran said: “Pakistan's stakes in the maritime arena are extremely high, which are directly impacted by multifaceted threats and challenges, both traditional and non-traditional threats, but more importantly the emerging Indo-US strategic partnership, an increased Chinese interest and presence in the region, Indo-Iran and Indo-Gulf cooperation, Indian ambitions and the nuclearization of the ocean.”

The national conference is, therefore, being held to deliberate on the complex milieu and intertwined interests and strategic concerns and propose the future course of action and responses.

Federal Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanveer Hussain would be the chief guest at the conference that would feature key note speeches by National Security Adviser Lt General Nasser Janjua (retd) and Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila (retd).

SAUDI ARMY CHIEF MEETS ADMIRAL ZAKAULLAH

Visiting Chief of South African National Defence Force, General Solly Zacharia Shoke on Friday had an interaction with Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and discussed professional matters and bilateral defence collaboration in diverse fields. 

According Pakistan Navy spokesperson the visiting dignitary was received by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah when he arrived at Naval Headquarters.

The spokesperson said that a smartly-turned out contingent of Pakistan Navy clad in ceremonial dress presented him the guard of honour.

Thereafter, Admiral Zakaullah introduced the visiting dignitary to the principal staff officers at Naval Headquarters.

Later, General Shoke called on the chief of the naval staff in his office, where he held detailed discussions on professional matters and bilateral defence collaboration in diverse fields.

General Shoke lauded commitment and performance of Pakistan Navy in the fight against terrorism and piracy as well as concerted efforts in maintaining collaborative security in Indian Ocean and beyond.