Army Promotion Board: 19 Brigadiers Promoted as Major Generals

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army Promotion Board approved on Friday promotion of 19 brigadiers to the rank of major general, according to an official announcement.

The decision was made at a promotion board meeting, chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

All corps commanders, principal staff officers and senior army officials were also present in the meeting.

According to a statement issued by the ISPR, the names of brigadiers promoted to the rank of major general are Umar Farooq Barki, Shafiq, Musarrat Nawaz, Naseer Ali Khan, M Irshad, Samrez Salik, Akhtar Jamal Rao, Sanaullah, Hafiz Masroor, Nasir Dilawar Shah, Arshad Mehmood, Tariq Haleem Suri, Omar Mahmood Hayat, Rehan Abdul Baqi, Khalid Mehmood, Asif Mumtaz Sukera, Mqabool Ahmed, M Ayyub and Syed M Imran Majeed.

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Gen Kayani Asks ISAF Commander to Curb Cross-border Attacks

ISLAMABAD, June 27: Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday held a hush-hush meeting with Isaf Commander General John Allen in Rawalpindi and Inter Services Public Relations kept quiet on matters taken up at the meeting.

But it is widely believed that the army leadership demanded actions by Isaf forces against Afghanistan-based militants who attacked a Pakistani checkpost in Dir on Sunday, killing 13 security officials.

Despite repeated attempts, newly-appointed ISPR Director General Maj General Asim Bajwa could not be contacted for his comments on the meeting.

But, according to sources, everything, including blocked Nato supply lines, operational details which the two sides regularly discuss and border incursions from both sides, came under discussion.

On many occasions in the past, the US/Nato forces and Afghan government have accused Pakistan of not acting against militant networks allegedly based in Pakistan, especially the Haqqnai network. Likewise, Pakistan believes that Nato and Afghan security forces have failed to act against militants crossing to the Pakistani side of the border from Afghanistan.

“Although it was a routine meeting, due to latest border incursion which resulted in the killing of 13 Pakistani security officials, it achieved prominence in the media,” a security official who follows such meetings said.

“Yes, these meetings are primarily meant to shore up cooperation between the two sides, because they are engaged against a common enemy across the Pak-Afghan border,” he said.

Talking to Dawn, a Foreign Office official said that Pak-US relations had witnessed so many twists and turns that nothing could be said with surety when and how Pakistan would reopen Nato supply lines.

However, he said, the two sides had not lost hope and believed that sooner or later they would reach some agreement and Nato forces would be allowed to use Pakistani routes for their supply lines.

Gen Kayani Refuses To Meet US Assistant Defence Secretary Peter Lavoy

In a powerful signal of the extent to which bilateral ties have plummeted in recent times, the office of the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has politely turned down a request for a meeting by visiting US assistant defence secretary, Peter Lavoy.

“Yes, it is correct that a meeting was requested but the General Headquarters declined. We are not aware if Peter Lavoy was given any reasons,” Pakistani officials told The News. US officials in Washington also confirmed the same.

“There are several reasons for turning down Lavoy. It is to tell the Americans that you cannot be bad-mouthing us day in and day out and then expect a meeting with Pakistan’s most powerful personality. You cannot trash our sovereignty, threaten us, announce intensified drone attacks, kill our soldiers, refuse to apologise when you do the same in Kabul, hold back our money (CSF), threaten to cut off all aid and then pretend that it is business as usual,” is how one official put it.

The News spoke to officials involved in working out the ‘package deal’ with the US and it appears that there are clear instructions that more important than the pricing of the Nato containers is the US apology. “We would be willing to forgo charges in return for assurances on our sovereignty and offer of an apology. It means more than the money, we are more concerned about our dignity and honour. If we get assurances that our sovereignty will not be violated and our dignity will be respected, we will not bother about the money part. Price of containers is not an important issue,” said one official.

He said that Lavoy has been told that without an apology it would not be possible to move forward on opening up the Ground Lines of Communications, (GLOCs). “One cannot predict the outcome of our discussions. The process remains unpredictable. The apology remains the key to preserve our dignity. In the absence of same it has been difficult to move forward,” the official added.

Sources in Washington and Islamabad say that for the time being efforts are underway to ensure that an acceptable apology is delivered one way or the other to Pakistan. “There appears to be a slim chance that an acceptable apology will surface. Neither side is ready to accept the language the interlocutors are working on and time is running out. GHQ has to understand that a ready apology was pushed aside and now too many issues have overtaken the apology. US aid is being threatened to be completely cut off because of Shakeel Afridi’s arrest. One side has to step back and it appears no one is ready to do so,’ explained one diplomat.

The News also learnt Sunday that the establishment is also demanding nothing less than a US apology for the Salala killings and says that the ‘apology’ and not the ‘pricing’ of Nato containers is imperative for Pakistan. “No apology, no package deal,” is the message being sent to Lavoy.

Lavoy is still in town and Sunday evening was to be spent at the US embassy for informal discussions. The government is withholding commenting on the meetings that Lavoy has held so far, except an important one with finance minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Saturday.Not too long ago, Pakistan also asked US ambassador for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman not to come to Pakistan.

Kayani’s office has been quite generous in the past in accomodating visiting dignitaries, especially Americans. In fact there had been criticism that protocol has not been strictly followed and officials of lower ranks also found their way into the COAS’ office.

Less than twenty four hours ago Lavoy’s boss defense secretary Leon Panetta accused Pakistan’s military of giving safe havens to Afghan ‘terrorists’, threatened that the US would, if necessary, take action inside North Waziristan to take out the Haqqani network and publicly declared that the US was at war in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). “Without getting into the details of what we may or may not do, I think it suffices to say that the United States will do whatever it has to do to protect its forces,” threatened Panetta in a television interview.

As US rhetoric reaches a new high, it is understandable why Lavoy could not partake of a cup of coffee with Kayani.Meanwhile, the Pakistan military’s insistence that the US should apologise for intruding into Pakistan’s airspace on November 26, 2011 and killing and wounding its soldiers, is once again on the top of the agenda of all bilateral discussions.

However, there also appears to be some confusion about how ‘vital’ this US apology has become. For months now, the focus of deliberations has centered around a package deal which included fixing an agreed price for each Nato container passing through Pakistan, Coalition Support Funds payment to Pakistan, iron-clad guarantees that Salala-like attacks will not repeated, all agreements would be put on paper and a US apology would be delivered.

The US apology was not being highlighted until recently when foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, in an interview in Doha to Foreign Policy magazine, challenged the Obama administration to live up to America’s democratic ideals by respecting the will of Pakistan’s elected legislature. “A representative Parliament of 180 million people has spoken on one subject. [This is] something which should have been forthcoming the day this incident happened, and what a partnership not only demands, but requires,” she said.

Pakistan Has No Aggressive Design Against Anyone: Gen Kayani

Rawalpindi: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Friday said that Pakistan is a peace loving nation and focus of its armed forces always remained on defending and serving the country.

“We are a peace loving nation and harbor no aggression towards anyone but at the same time we value our freedom and independence more than anything else.”

He made these remarks while addressing participants of launching ceremony of book on Major Shabir Sharif Shaheed’s heroic life as military officer, held at General Headquarters (GHQs) here.

The COAS said that armed forces are fully prepared to ensure sovereignty and dignity of the country.

Appreciating the role and sacrifices of young officers of Pakistan Army during the war against terrorism, he said, “The young officers have setexamples for us and we should acknowledge the dedication of our brave soldiers who are taking pride by laying their lives for the nation.”

He said the ratio of martyred officers and soldiers is 1-10 which reflects their resolve and commitment.

General Kayani also paid tribute to Major Shabir Sharif Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) and termed him one of the most courageous military officers and symbol of bravery and valour for the new generation.

He also appreciated the writer who highlighted several aspect of life and role of Major Shabir Sharif Shaheed (NH).

He said Colonel Azam Qadri (Retd) has made the epic life of the legendary solider more memorable than ever through his remarkable effort of collecting and compiling the shining moments of Major Shabir’s career.

Speaking on the occasion, other speakers also paid tribute to Major Shabir Sharif Shaheed and threw light on his achievement.

The book “What more can a solider desire” is a candid account of Major Shabir’s acts of valour and bravery he displayed throughout his military career and during the two Pakistan-India wars of 1965 and 1971.

Major Shabir embraced Shahadat on December 6, 1971 while firing and engaging the Indian tanks in the Sulemanki Sector.

Portion of the book is based upon the letters that Major Shabir wrote to the author, which contain and enumerate not only some historic facts about the Pakistan-India war of 1965, but also present a good reflection of his day-to-day life, as well as his personality.

The book not only galvanizes the desire of achievement, but also portrays the parts of Major Shabir Sharif’s life in a novel and impressive way.

Central Command War Games Kicks Off In Kharian Garrison

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Kharian, today, to attend the opening session of the Central Command War Games, being conducted as part of Azm-e-Nau series exercises.

Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani attending the opening session of the Central Command War Games during his visit to Kharian, today.

Azm-e-Nau is a deliberate process, initiated a few years ago, to address the varied threat spectrum faced by Pakistan. The process is now approaching maturity. Army wide War Games are being held to validate the response options, which will be followed by appropriate changes in operational plans.

On arrival, COAS was received by Lieutenant General Tariq Khan, Commander Mangla Corps. 

Pakistan, India To Hold Next Round Of Siachen Talks On June 11-12

Islamabad: The next round of India-Pakistan defence secretaries’ talks on Siachen will be held on June 11-12 in Islamabad.

The announcement about parleys on Siachen, which got back into limelight after the April avalanche in the Gayari sector, was made after Pakistan sought postponement of upcoming talks on Sir Creek which were to be held in New Delhi next week.

The dialogue on Sir Creek under the resumed peace process was earlier programmed for May 14-16.New dates, the Foreign Office said, would be decided through diplomatic channels.

Indian media claimed that the request for postponement of Sir Creek talks was linked to dialogue on Siachen. It is said that Pakistan first wanted to assess the progress on Siachen before getting back to the table on Sir Creek. But, the FO denies this inference.

Following the April avalanche, which trapped 139 troops and civilian workers in a military compound that is still buried under a mass of snow and boulders, there have renewed calls for demilitarisation of Siachen.

Army Chief Gen Kayani, during a recent visit to the region, accused New Delhi of stiffening its position on the 76-km-long Siachen Glacier a part of which was occupied by India in April 1984 through the Operation Meghdoot.

Both Indian and Pakistani sides acknowledge the futility of the conflict in what is now described as the world’s highest battlefield, but Indian army’s resistance is preventing its resolution.

At the last round of talks on the Sir Creek in 2011, Pakistan held that the 2007 joint survey of the 60 mile marshy strip shouldn’t be implied as an agreement on the dispute.

Pakistan lays claim to the entire creek in accordance with the Bombay Government Resolution of 1914. India, on the other hand, claims that the boundary lies mid-channel. Indian stance is based on the Thalweg Doctrine in International Law.

The two sides have to determine whether the boundary lies in the middle of Sir Creek as claimed by India, or on its east bank, as per Pakistani position.

Both sides had in 2007 exchanged maps of the strip of water in the Rann of Kutch marshlands marked with their respective positions during talks in Rawalpindi.

The two countries had on that occasion also discussed the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Rann of Kutch on the basis of the joint survey.

Watch Complete 2012 Youm-e-Shuhada Ceremony Held at GHQ

3rd Youm-e-Shuhada (Day of Martyrs) was observed with perseverance and solemnity at all Garrisons of the country on April 30, 2012.

The day was marked to commemorate the sacrifices of Pakistan Army, while protecting the motherland against internal and external threats.
Wreath laying ceremonies were held at Yadgar-e-Shuhada’s to pay homage to supreme sacrifices rendered by sons of the soil.

Main ceremony of Yaum-e-Shuhada was held at GHQ. Yaum-e-Shuhada ceremony was witnessed by a large number of families of Shuhada, parliamentarians, services chiefs, diplomats and people from all walks of life including the media.