army stick to its stance of ‘no military operation’ in North Waziristan

As Islamabad and Washington intensify efforts to improve their strained relations, the country’s top military brass on Friday reiterated its stance of ‘no military operation’ in North Waziristan, but offered that Pakistan could facilitate a peace dialogue between the US and the Haqqani Network.
Pakistan’s military leadership discussed in detail the ongoing row with the United States and the efforts underway to settle it in the 144th Corps Commanders’ Conference, which was held at General Headquarters with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani in the chair. “The conference was part of regular monthly meetings. The forum took a comprehensive overview of the routine professional matters aimed at enhancing proficiency of the army,” said an ISPR statement.
In a related significant development, US Ambassador Cameron Munter called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the Foreign Office on Friday. “Bilateral relations and the regional situation were discussed. Both agreed to work together for strengthening bilateral cooperation and for coordinating on regional issues,” said a Foreign Office statement. Officials privy to the consultations at the corps commanders’ meeting and Ambassador Munter’s interaction with Foreign Minister Khar said that after days of highly tense relations, both sides were now engaged at various levels for stabilising the relations and improving ties.
“The Corps Commanders’ meeting once again reiterated Pakistan’s stance of no to strong US demands for military operation in North Waziristan. However, the military brass observed that Pakistan could work for a dialogue between Washington and the Haqqani Network for the sake of durable peace in Afghanistan,” an official said. He said the army leadership expressed satisfaction over ongoing bilateral efforts for doing away with tension in the relations between Islamabad and Washington.
“Ambassador Munter’s meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Khar was also part of the US efforts to defuse the situation between Islamabad and Washington. The foreign minister and US ambassador also discussed ways to improve the tense ties in their meeting,” the official said. Another official said the military commanders expressed displeasure over strong anti-ISI statements by Afghan authorities and cautioned that it would have deep negative impact on ties between Islamabad and Kabul.
“The commanders expressed satisfaction over the level of preparedness on the country’s border with Afghanistan to prevent any future attacks by Afghanistan-based Taliban militants on Pakistani frontier regions and they observed that any such assault would be given a matching response,” the official said. Troika Meeting: In a related development, President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani discussed important national issues in a meeting at the Presidency, NNI reported.
The top leadership discussed the law and order situation in Karachi and other parts of the country. They also discussed the resolution adopted by the All Parties Conference (APC) a few days ago. According to NNI sources, the troika also discussed US President Barack Obama’s recent statements and the tense relationship between the two countries.

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