President, COAS discuss review of Pakistan-NATO relations

Zardari and Kayani

ISLAMABAD – President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had an informal exchange of views on Friday over the process of review of terms of engagements between Pakistan and NATO forces by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS).

A source told Pakistan Today that both leaders met here at the Presidency after a ceremony held to decorate Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (M). “Both leaders had an informal discussion on the professional matters of the armed forces, post-NATO attack strategy and the scope of recommendations finalised by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. Security issues were also discussed during the meeting between both leaders,” the source said, adding that both leaders exchanged views while the services chiefs were also present. “The president told the army chief that the recommendations by the PCNS had been finalised and they would now be presented in the joint session of parliament, which is likely to be summoned within the next 10 days,” said the source and added that the body language of both leaders suggested that tension between the presidential camp and the general headquarters was lowering.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Secretary General to the President M Salman Faruqui, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, senior officials and officers from the armed forces were also present on the occasion. The citation read on the occasion said Nishan-e-Imtaiz (M) was being conferred upon the naval chief in recognition for his long meritorious services. Admiral Asif Sandila is also a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (M) and Chevalier de I’ Ordre National de Merite. – pakistantoday