‘Terrorists can’t dictate us’

‘Terrorists can’t dictate us’
‘Terrorists can’t dictate us’

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday declared that terrorists will not be allowed to coerce us into accepting their terms.

General Kayani reiterated Pakistan Army’s resolve and unflinching commitment to fighting the menace of terrorism, in accordance with the will of the nation and at any cost. He vowed to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of cowardly acts of terrorism to justice. While reaffirming army’s support to the political process, the COAS also said, unequivocally, that terrorists will not be allowed to take advantage of it. He emphasised again that while “it is understandable to give peace a chance through a political process but no one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms. Army has the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists”.

Gen Kayani lauded the ultimate sacrifice of the martyrs and injured of the four cowardly acts of terrorism which took place in FATA, during last two days. The COAS paid rich tributes to the exemplary courage, total commitment to duty and the demonstration of highest leadership qualities by Major General Sanaullah Khan. He said the general officer has set a towering example of leading from the front which is a hallmark of leadership in Pakistan Army. Acknowledging General Khan’s ultimate sacrifice for the motherland, the army chief said we all salute his bravery.

He also pledged to stand with the families of shuhadas and injured. “Pakistani nation and army will remain indebted to the sacrifices of their soldiers,” he said. According to the ISPR, during the night September14-15, terrorists attacked a Khasadars’ patrolling party near Bannu. The attackers were repulsed by the patrolling party. However, the encounter resulted into the shahadat of one and injuries to four Khassadars. Later, during early hours of September 15, two of the army posts located on Road Miranshah, Mir Ali were subjected to IED attacks by the terrorists. The posts along this road are meant to keep the traffic un-interrupted and secure. One soldier of army and one of FC man were killed, whereas two soldiers sustained injuries in these attacks.

The most heinous act of terrorism took place on September 15 near village Gatkotal, Upper Dir. This too was an IED attack on the vehicle of Major General Sanaullah Khan, general officer commanding 17th Division, presently operating in Swat. The general officer along with Lieutenant Colonel Tauseef Ahmad and Sepoy Irfan Sattar embraced martyrdom in this attack. Major General Sanaullah was visiting his troops deployed on Pak-Afghan border. He stayed the night with troops at a 10,000-feet-high border post in Bin Shahi sector. His vehicle was targeted when it was returning.

General Sanaullah Khan was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Mianwali on Monday. His funeral prayer was offered in his native town, Dawoodkhel in Mianwali District on Monday afternoon. Senior army officials and politicians attended the funeral. Meanwhile, funeral prayer of Lance Naik Irfan Sattar was also offered in his hometown, Muzaffargarh, and was laid to rest there with full military honours. Thousands of people attended the Namaz-e-Janaza of the martyred soldier. – DailyTimes

Brig Muhammad Ibrahim laid a floral wreath on his grave on behalf of the chief of army staff, said an ISPR release. A smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces presented a salute to the soldier. Speaking on the occasion, Irfan’s father Muhammad Sattar Rana said it was an honour for him and the family that his son embraced martyrdom for the country. “Our heads are high” and the whole nation is proud of the sacrifice given by Irfan Sattar. The martyred soldier is survived by a four-year-old daughter, a two-year-old son and a widow. He had joined the Baloch Regiment of the Pakistan Army on December 25, 2004.

The FIR of the roadside blast that martyred General Sanaullah Khan, Lt Col Tauseef and Lance Naik Irfan Sattar has been registered in the Shahikot Police Station, Upper Dir, against unknown accused. Soon after the incident the local administration imposed a curfew in most parts of Shahikot Union Council and no one was allowed to walk through the main Shahikot road. The curfew was still in place in the union council until the filing of this report as the security forces continued a search operation for the second day in Sonai Darra area.

High-ups of the police also visited the blast site on Monday. According to credible reports an eight-member committee, including five police officers, has been formed to probe the blast. It merits mention here that all the matches due for September 15 and final ceremony of the Jashn-e-Kurmrat festival due for September 16 have been cancelled after the Sunday blast. General Sanaullah Khan had inaugurated the opening ceremony of Jashn-e-Kumrat Festival on September 6 as chief guest.

Sunday’s attack comes after weeks of discussions within Prime Minister Nawaz’s government about whether to pursue peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from Afghanistan’s Taliban, although allied with them. Last week, major political parties held a conference on the issue and agreed that talks should be pursued. But it was not clear when talks might begin, who might take part or if they would be held under any conditions. The killing of Khan and his colleagues would likely make it more difficult for the government to enter negotiations.