RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Monday snubbed the Taliban militants over their demands as pre-condition for the peace talks and said the security forces will not allow them to impose their terms.
The remarks came a day after the Pakistani Taliban called for the release of their prisoners and withdrawal of troops from the volatile tribal regions as conditions for talks with the government.
Taliban set conditions after a parliamentary conference, hosted by the government in Islamabad on Sept.9, called upon the government to initiate dialogue with the militants.
The Taliban bomb attack in the country’s northwest that killed two senior army officers on Sunday sparked strong condemnation as the attack was carried out at a time when the political leadership was exploring options to begin peace talks.
Taliban militants also launched three more attacks in different areas in northwest on Sunday and killed four security men.
The army chief in a rare statement condemned the attack on the security forces and reiterated Pakistan army’s resolve and unflinching commitment in fighting the menace of terrorism in accordance with the will of the nation at any cost.
General Kayani vowed to spare no effort to bring the perpetrators of these cowardly acts of terrorism to justice, an army statement said.
While reaffirming army’s support to the political process, the army chief also unequivocally said that terrorists will not be allowed to take advantage of it.
He emphasized 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,” General Kayani said.
He lauded the ultimate sacrifice of those army officers killed and injured in the four cowardly acts of terrorism during the last two days.
The army chief paid homage to the slain Major General Sanaullah Khan, who was killed in the roadside bomb attack in Upper Dir district near the Afghan border along with another senior army officer and a soldier.
Sanaullah was in-charge of the military operations in Malakand region, including Swat valley, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“The General Officer has set towering example of leading from the front which is hallmark of leadership in Pakistan Army,” General Kayani said. NNI