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Thursday, February 15, 2024

PM Khan meets COAS & DG ISI: New security threats discussed

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a high-level security-related meeting with the Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa, DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, and DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor at the PM Office on Monday. Matters pertaining to security and defense were discussed, alongside discussing Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process.

News Desk |

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan received the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, alongside Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hamid and Director Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor, at the Prime Minister Office in Islamabad.

A press release issued by the PM Office noted, “Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid and DG ISPR Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM Office Islamabad today.”

It added, “Overall security situation of the country was discussed in the meeting.”

This high-level meeting occurred in the wake of the brutal terror attacks in Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan’s Turbat area, in which 10 soldiers of the Pakistan Army were martyred. Earlier this month, Dera Ismail Khan was rocked with two terror incidents, claiming the lives of several people, including policemen.

The huddle was significant after the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US and the likely ramifications for the region in particular for India which will likely attempt to compensate for the following adverse effects.

The presence of the premier, the army chief and the premier spymaster of the country has given birth to speculations about the discussions undertaken in this meeting, and the sensitive agendas deliberated with regards to security threats.

The premier has held security discussions on multiple platforms, and aside from have individual meetings with the COAS and joint meetings with the COAS and ISI Chief, he also addresses security measures with the National Security Committee. The agenda of the meeting is being regarded as one of exhibiting solidarity between the Pakistan Army and its civilian leadership.

Read more: Army Chief in Washington: Bilateral Military Cooperation on Afghan Peace Process & Regional Security

Prime Minister Imran Khan had reiterated the solidarity and unity between Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership during his address at the United States Institute of Peace, earlier this month. The premier had said, “I speak for the Pakistan army, earlier it was regarded as an independent entity and that governments have no control over it. I can sit here and tell you and I can tell you as I speak, the Pakistan Army is exactly behind the government’s program.”

Threats Emanating from India 

Speaking to Global Village Space, Jan Achakzai, seasoned political analyst with close ties in diplomatic circles, observed the significance of the high-level meeting, and the threats faced by Pakistan after Imran Khan’s successful US visit, and the progress in the Afghan peace process.

Jan Achakzai observed, “The huddle was significant after the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US and the likely ramifications for the region in particular for India which will likely attempt to compensate for the following adverse effects.”

He highlighted the “adverse effects” suffered by New Delhi, “The thaw between the US and Pakistan panning in Islamabad favor like banning Indian proxy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), the defeat of Delhi in Afghanistan following strategic convergence between China, the US, Russia and Pakistan literally shunning out Delhi from the peace process in Afghanistan.”

Now Pakistan and the US have to carve out a joint strategy to forestall any spoiling efforts by counties whose interests diverge on Afghanistan and South Asia, (i.e., India and Iran).

Achakzai added, “The forced downgrading of Chabahar Port project after US sanctions on Indian Oil imports from Iran—indirectly benefited Gwadar port as the only reliable route for landlocked Afghanistan and Russia which seeks maritime access into Indian Ocean.”

Subvert Afghan Peace Process

Highlighting New Delhi’s desire to “play a spoiler role” in the Afghan peace process, Jan Achakzai explained India agendas to weaken Pakistan’s security defence, and undermine its territorial integrity.

The Baloch analyst noted, “The likely reaction of India will be to play a spoiler’s role in more than one ways: subvert peace process in Afghanistan by leveraging its own proxy Taliban; to intensify anti-NATO targeting by other proxies like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and ISIS; to penetrate deep inside in the west part of Durand Line attacking Pakistani security flanks, taking advantage of the porous border; vast unattended zones of mass land using proxies and subletting sabotage and mayhem.”

Recounting the losses suffered by the Pakistan Army and civilians during the last week, Achakzai observed, “Last week over 10 soldiers were martyred in single day, the biggest loss of life to Pakistan Army in the recent past; and the Indians continue to heat up the LOC.”

Read more: Taliban to visit Islamabad if invited: A journey towards Peace

Addressing the speculations of the Modi-led government to alter the special status of Indian-Occupied Kashmir, he said, “Indian Occupied Kashmir is on the boil, and relations deteriorated after speculations of Delhi attempting to alter its special status, increased militarization and almost refusal of India to normalize ties with Pakistan.”

Pak-US Joint Strategy

Explaining the dynamics of the US-Pakistan cooperation in ensuring an intra-Afghan dialogue, Achakzai observed that Washington is willing to pay the price for Pakistan’s economic and military advancement, along with diplomatic support, as long as Imran Khan can ensure a timely and honorable exit for the US forces.

Achakzai noted, “The US has agreed during Imran Khan’s visit to pay economic and strategic price for Pakistan’s possible diplomatic surge, (i.e. persuade Taliban to negotiate with Kabul government and help form a post settlement dispensation that the US can live with), the resumption of military and economic aid and put pressure on Kabul and India to recognize Pakistan’s legitimate strategic and political interests in Afghanistan and in relation to Kashmir.”

He continued, “Now Pakistan and the US have to carve out a joint strategy to forestall any spoiling efforts by counties whose interests diverge on Afghanistan and South Asia, (i.e., India and Iran).”

Read more: What’s Next for U.S-Pakistan Relations After Imran Khan’s U.S Visit?

The Chairman of the Center for Geo-Politics and Balochistan noted that the meeting of Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership discussed the opportunities of playing an instrumental role in ushering regional peace, and undermining the security threats faced by Pakistan.

Jan Achakzai concluded, “The meeting of Pakistan’s top political and military leadership would have discussed threadbare options opportunities and challenges at strategic, security and political levels. Islamabad is facing a daunting task to meet expectations of the US, on the one hand, and protect its interests on the other, besides, containing the destabilizing side effects as it plays a major regional roles.”