Government of Pakistan on Friday appointed Lt.Gen (R) Asif Yasin Malik as new defence secretary in place of Nargis Sethi who had been given the additional charge of defence ministry’s top bureaucrat in January this year.
Sethi was assigned the job after the dismissal of Lt-Gen (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi at the peak of a civil-military standoff over the infamous memogate affair.
Malik retired from active service last December as commander of the Peshawar-based 11 Corps. While commanding the corps, he oversaw counter-insurgency operations in tribal areas.The new defence secretary, who had attended training courses in the US, will hit the ground running with signing next week a bilateral MoU with the US on transit of cargo.
The MoU was approved by the federal cabinet this week.
Pakistan Navy will be getting four F-22P Frigates which will be built in Pakistan in collaboration with China as part of country’s efforts to strengthen its navy. Earlier, Pakistan got three frigate from China while fourth is being built.
F-22P PNS Zulfiquar in Navy Dockyard
According to a report, published in Daily Jang, the leading Urdu daily of the country, Pakistan is satisfied over getting the fighters at reasonable price . The report said that the Chinese frigate costs 200 million dollar while the US LCS ship having similar qualities and technologies costs 600 million dollars.
According to the report, the F-22P Frigate is equipped with modern missile technology. The first ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was handed over to the PN on July 30, 2009 and the second, PNS Shamsheer, on January 23, 2010. The third is undergoing sea trials, The Fourth and Last Frigate of F-22P series for the PN was launched on June 17, 2011.
General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), who is on an official visit to Canada , called on General Walter J Natynczyk, Canadian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and discussed matters of military cooperation and emerging regional situation. He attended Joint Staff Action team roundtable at the CDS Headquarters, and discussed at length issues related to regional stability and Pakistan’s security perspective.
Later, The Chairman accompanied by Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, visited ongoing training exercises of Canadian Armed Forces in New Brunswick. He appreciated the realistic training maneuvers and dedication of Canadian Armed Forces personnel.
General Khalid Shameem Wynne also called on H.E Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence.
Swat: General Officer Commanding Swat Major General Ghulam Qamar said on Saturday that the army has successfully repulsed various attacks of terrorists on Pak-Afghan borders areas in Chitral district in the recent past and inflicted heavy losses on the intruders.
Addressing a function of certificate distribution among 139 people who obtained technical training at Pak Army institute ‘Mashaal’ and talking to media men, the GOC said that terrorists were on the run and they have no place to hide in Malakand division. They have no chance to regroup in Malakand, he added.
He said that the Pakistan army has on many occasions repulsed attacks of terrorists on border areas in Chitral district and inflicted heavy losses of both men and material.
“We will not allow anyone to violate our territory and anyone trying to intrude into our soil will be crushed”, he added.
Those obtaining technical training at the Mashaal institute and passed out were those who have given up militancy and became useful citizens of the society, the GOC beamed. They will now earn their livelihood in a dignified manner and would play their role in eliminating militancy from their areas, he added. Commissioner Malakand Dr Fakhre Alam, DIG Akhtar Hayat Khan, DCO Kamran Rehman, Brigadier Sajjad, Brigadier Shahbaz, officials of the civil administration and elders of the area attended the august function.
In all 1040 people were given training during last two years at the Mashaal institute, run by the army for people who were found involved in militancy related activities. The people are provided training in different trades including computer technology.
A major reshuffle in Pakistan army ranks has taken place on Friday. Major-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (GOC 40th Div) has been appointed Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as Major Gen Athar Abbas’ retirement is due in June.
Maj Gen Mazhar Jameel, Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy, was appointed Vice Chief of General Staff (VCGS) while Maj Gen Sadiq Ali of the Armoured Division was appointed Commandant of the PMA.
Maj Gen Nadir Zeb, chief of the Frontier Corps, was appointed the Director General of Human Resource Development while Maj Gen Asif Khattak was moved from the ISI in Quetta to HQ Logistics Area in Gujranwala.
Maj Gen Ghayyar Mehmood was named the new chief of the Frontier Corps.
Maj Gen Farukh Bashir, General Officer Commanding of SSGC, was appointed head of the Defence Security Guards while Maj Gen Hidayatur Rehman was appointed GOC of 14 Division.
Maj Gen Obaid Zikria was appointed Commandant of the EME College and Maj Gen Tariq Jawaid was named Vice Chief of Logistic Stocks.
A second reshuffle, including the promotion of four Major Generals to the rank of Lieutenant General, is expected to take place next week.
Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, General Officer Commanding of 40th Infantry Division (Dera Ismail Khan & South Waziristan), has been appointed as new Director-General Inter Services Public Relations. He will be taking charge after Major General Athar Abbas retires in June. Bajwa was commissioned on March 16, 1984 in Punjab Regiment (Infantry). He has commanded 34 Punjab Regiment and has been the commander of 111 Brigade.
He has been Chief of Staff (COS) of a corps, instructor at command and staff course, brigade major of infantry brigade, platoon commander at Pakistan Military Academy. He is a graduate of Command and Staff College Quetta, NDU Islamabad and Staff College Camberley (UK).
Recently, General Bajwa has been commanding military operations in South Waziristan for two years. He was able to eliminate militancy and restore peace in the region. He has also remained deputy Military Secretary (MS) during the reign of former Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf.
Incumbent DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas was made DG on January 14, 2008. He was superseded in the promotions for next rank and will retire this June after completion of age limit.
Admiral Asif Sandila, Chief of Naval Staff, said Pakistan plans to establish a naval base around Gwadar, where China is helping build the Gwadar port, in southwest Pakistan.
“It takes a long time to build a navy base, and now the navy is only doing feasibility studies,” said Sandila, who is on his first visit to China as the Navy chief of staff.
He emphasized that Gwadar port remains an economic port and the Pakistani navy has been tasked to provide security for foreigners working at the port and the port infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
Sandila also said he believes the rise of China will have a positive spill-over effect on the entire region.
Pakistan is willing to intensify cooperation with China over a wide spectrum of areas, including defense, science and technology, telecommunications, infrastructure, education, banking, trade and commerce, and cultural exchange.