Islamabad - Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has emphasised the need for collective efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region bordering Afghanistan, saying terrorism and development can’t go together.

“Collectively we have to make sure that unrest doesn’t return,” the army chief said while addressing a combined tribal Jirga of elders from South and North Waziristan districts at Wana on Wednesday.

He asked all concerned especially the tribesmen to remain vigilant as main stakeholder to retain the attained peace and stability in the area by safeguarding the environment from inimical forces who are eyeing to reverse the gains.

The COAS said peace has largely returned but pointed out that a few terror incidents involving explosions by IEDs (improvised explosive devises) have recently taken place in North Waziristan.

He said that no conflict ends through kinetic operations alone as there is always a need for post operations rehabilitation and development effort.

General Bajwa thanked the elders for their unflinching support to security forces and the state and said that while stability operations continue alongside border fencing, progress on socio-economic prong was also gaining momentum.

He said that the same shall get more attention through implementation of merger measures. The army chief said that the suggestions offered by tribal elders were valid and most of these were already included in the mid to long term development plan of the government.

Tribal elders thanked COAS for restoration of peace in the area, merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ongoing efforts for socio-economic development in the area.

They also assured total cooperation to the security forces and the government and highlighted requirement for additional communication infrastructure, electricity, water, educational institutions and upgraded cellular network facilities.

Commander Peshawar Corps and IGFC (KP South) were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, General Bajwa visited South Waziristan where he was briefed about stabilisation operations and progress of fencing along Pak-Afghan border at Angoor Adda. The army chief appreciated quality and speed of work.

Pakistan launched fencing of the porous border on its side shortly after concluding successful major military operation Zarb-e-Azb.

This was followed by another operation Ruddul Fassad to stabilise the area by checking targeting the sleeping cells, and launched a comprehensive rehabilitation and development programme to bring the peace loving local population into mainstream by providing the basic facilities in the respective areas.

The COAS visit came after a soldier was martyred and three others sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded targeting an army bomb disposal squad vehicle in North Waziristan on Thursday last.

According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the team was on a routine search and clear operation as part of the ongoing Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Martyred Havildar Ahmed Khan, 38, belonged to Mianwali district. He left behind wife, son and two daughters.

The veteran of 1965 war Sepoy Maqbool Hussain was laid to rest at his native village Narian, Tarar Khal, Azad Kashmir with full military honour on Wednesday.

Funeral prayers for the 1965 war veteran Sepoy Maqbool Hussain who breathed his last at the Combined Military Hospital in Attock on Tuesday were held at Rawalpindi’s Chaklala Garrison on Wednesday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

According to a statement issued by Director General ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa along with a large number of soldiers attended the prayers and paid respect to the national hero. Sepoy Maqbool Hussain of Azad Kashmir Regiment got injured during the 1965 war and was taken prisoner by the Indian Army. After languishing in Indian jails for 40 years, he was released in 2005. He was awarded Sitara-i-Jurrat for his gallantry.