Praising the Army’s work during ongoing flood relief efforts across Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday directed Army formations to provide all possible support to the country’s flood-stricken residents and facilitate their recovery.
“Expressing deep sorrow over loss of precious lives and extensive damage to infrastructure due to unprecedented rains/floods, the forum resolved to spare no efforts for mitigating the sufferings of flood affectees,” read a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) after the 250th Corps Commanders Conference in Rawalpindi. Separately, the ISPR said, all general officers of the Pakistan Army had donated one month’s salary to help fund flood relief operations.
According to the ISPR, the bulk of the conference focused on counter-terrorism measures, with Gen. Bajwa directing troops to “maintain operational readiness and efforts to counter terrorism, particularly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.” While the statement did not provide details on what the counter terror operations would entail, there have been reports of the military targeting militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in recent weeks to overcome the impression that they are once again securing a foothold in the country.
Officially, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the government are observing a ceasefire as peace talks continue in Afghanistan. The development has attracted controversy, as local residents of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have warned the militants are using the opportunity to regain power in the region, setting up checkposts and extorting “protection” money. In the past month, there have been several protests against allowing the TTP to return to Pakistan in both Swat and North Waziristan.