REF:

Rawalpindi - May 27, 2008

No PR-24/2008-ISPR

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid has said that threat of terrorism and violent extremism is a serious challenge to us as a nation therefore, it figures out most prominently in our security calculus today. He gave these remarks while addressing the participants of Armed Forces War Course, National Defence Course and Allied Officers War Course at National Defence University here at Islamabad this morning.

General Tariq Majid dwelt at length on counter terrorism and counter insurgency efforts by Pakistan and mentioned that Pakistan has been combating this threat even before 9/11, and had instituted numerous measures to tackle extremism and terrorism including banning of militant religious organisations and establishment of Anti terrorist courts etc.

Over viewing the current manifestation of militancy, CJCSC said it is primarily due to two major factors. First the blow back effects of the unfortunate developments in Afghanistan since last three decades which has proliferated the extremist elements and secondly, our un-fettered support to the ongoing global efforts against terrorism, particularly the coalition forces’ operations in Afghanistan and proactive military operations within own area.

Describing overreaching strategy of Pakistan’s Government, he emphasized that a comprehensive four pronged strategy has been conceived for dealing with militancy and extremism, combining force application, political measures, socio economic development and revitalization of civil administration.

General Tariq emphasized that the nature and dynamics of this threat are such that there are no quick fixes nor any country by itself has the capacity to completely clamp down or defeat it. Only strategic patience and trust based collaborative approach by the comity of nations can help us win this war. Therefore, viewing counter terrorism and counter insurgency in its regional dimension, we must harmonize policies and shore up coordination for implementation rather than pursuing incompatible approaches in dealing with the issue.

The CJCSC stressed greater focus on winning "hearts and minds" through political and socio economic mainstreaming of the troubled areas. He said that while the development has to be broad based, three aspects are critical to changing the mindset and developing stakes of the people in ensuring security: increase in literacy, greater political space/absorption and direct involvement/incentives to the locals in the economic activity.

Earlier on arrival at NDU, Lieutenant General Hamid Khan, President National Defence University welcomed the CJCSC.

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The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid addressing the participants of Armed Forces War Course, National Defence Course and Allied Officers War Course at National Defence University , Islamabad on Tuesday. (27-5-08) – Photo ISPR

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid with Lieutenant General Hamid Khan, President National Defence University during his visit to NDU , Islamabad on Tuesday. (27-5-08) – Photo ISPR