Western border secured

Gen KayaniISLAMABAD: Pakistan has warned the US and its Nato allies that it will give a ‘detrimental response’ to any future attack on country’s sovereignty, as its forces said they were fully prepared to take any threat head on.

The warning came form Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during his meeting with Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Friday afternoon wherein the two discussed various matters pertaining to the national security with a focus on the situation on Afghan border in the aftermath of deadly Nato strike in the Mohmand Agency.Gen Kayani told Gilani that armed forces have brought major changes in its defence structure at the western border and the reinforced troops were now fully prepared to give a furious response to any violation of country’s sovereignty. The same day Pakistan forced a big shift in the rules of military engagement with the US and Nato by making operational a sophisticated defence system at Pak-Afghan border to take on any aerial assault in future.

“The democratic government would not allow similar attack on the country’s sovereignty and any attempt in future will definitely meet the detrimental response,” a statement issued from the PM’s Secretariat quoted Gilani as saying. “The government and the people of Pakistan were ready to provide the armed forces all the necessary resources to bolster its defence and professional capabilities,” Gilani said.

Gen Kayani told PM Gilani in detail about the steps taken to revamp the defence capabilities aimed at effectively countering the recurrence of the incursion into the Pakistan territory. He told the PM that the troops along the border area had been reinforced and armed with modern weapons. Pakistan forces, he said, were now fully prepared to give a befitting response to any violation of borders.

The army chief also informed the premier on the implementation of the decision of Defence Committee of the Cabinet. The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the DCC decisions and said that parliament would decide whether to open Nato supply route or not. The army chief thanked the prime minister over his support and expressed firm resolve of the army to defend the country.

Gen Kayani also informed that the Shamsi Airbase has been vacated by the US but they were yet to formally hand it over to Pakistani authorities. According to sources the base has been vacated completely by the US forces. It is expected that UAE officials will take control of the base from Saturday, which will then be handed over to Pakistan.

Earlier, talking to newsmen at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday, Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan is reassessing its relations with the United States, Nato and Isaf to redefine terms of cooperation with them. He said there were ups and downs in Pak-US relations, but Pakistan really wanted to improve its relations with the US.

To a question about Nato attack on Pakistani security forces, he said the matter was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to formulate recommendations to reassess relations with US, Nato and Isaf. The recommendations will be presented to a joint sitting of parliament, which will revisit and redefine terms of cooperation with the US and Nato forces in future, he added. “We are also holding an inquiry into the incident,” he added.

The prime minister visited PIMS to meet the patients who successfully underwent cataract surgeries conducted by a team of Chinese surgeons under a programme ‘Bright Light Tour’. The PM was briefed by PIMS Executive Director Prof Mehmood Jamal and was also introduced to the Chinese medical team, while Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian accompanied him during the visit.

Gilani said the project was a vision of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who announced it during his visit to Pakistan to mark 60 years of Pak-China friendship. The two countries are true friends and their relations are time tested and all weather, he said adding the project will be a milestone in enhancing ties of the two countries. – Nation