COAS calls on PM Khan to discuss security and regional stability

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM office on Friday — the third such visit since the latter assumed the prime ministerial office on August 18.

Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar was also present during the meeting. A statement by the PM office said that "security and regional stability situation" were discussed in the meeting.

The interactions between the military head and newly elected premier have been frequent over the last one month.

The army chief's maiden call on PM Khan took place on August 27, in which both had “expressed resolve to bring enduring peace and stability in the country while also continuing efforts for regional peace”.

A few days later, PM Khan made his first visit to the General Headquarters on August 30 for a briefing on matters pertaining to national security. The briefing — which reportedly went on for more than seven hours — covered security environment, threat spectrum and response, counterterrorism operations, the situation in Karachi and the Khushal Balochistan programme.

Read: Imran dismisses civil-military divide as myth

The COAS then called on the PM on September 3, ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford's visit to Islamabad.

The elected prime minister, in an unprecedented move in recent times, was also invited to the annual Defence Day ceremony at the military headquarters on September 6, where the Army Chief has always been the main speaker.

In his speech at the ceremony, the PM had rejected the perception of civil-military imbalance in the country as a myth and said both sides were united to make the country great once again.

“A myth of civil-military imbalance has been created. It looks as if some huge confrontation is going on. (But) there is no such thing. All of us have a common goal of making the country rise,” PM Khan had said, also praising the armed forces as the only functional institution in the country.

The following week on September 12, the PM visited the headquarters of the ISI where he was received by Gen Bajwa and Gen Mukhtar, and given a detailed briefing on “various strategic, intelligence and national security matters”.

According to a statement by Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, the army chief and the ISI head had given an eight-hour-long briefing to the prime minister and the cabinet members who accompanied him.



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