Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Asim Munir on Tuesday reiterated the “unequivocal diplomatic, moral and political support” of Pakistanis for the Palestinian people, adding this principled stand will not waiver until the enduring resolution of the conflict.
Chairing the 260th Corps Commanders’ Conference (CCC), the Army chief stressed that the Pakistani nation’s support would continue until an “end to the unlawful occupation of their territories and Muslims’ sacred places” were achieved. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the senior military brass expressed concern the developments in Gaza, and the enormous human cost being imposed on innocent civilians due to the disproportionate use of force by Israel.
After an assault on Israel’s southern region by Hamas on Oct. 7 killed 1,400 people, the country initiated an ongoing bombardment of Gaza, with the Palestinian health ministry saying more than 3,000 people had been killed and over 10,000 others injured in the conflict thus far. On Tuesday, an airstrike struck a hospital in Gaza, killing 500 people in the deadliest incident to date of the current conflict. Both the Foreign Office and interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar have condemned the bombing, describing it as a violation of international laws and a war crime.
According to the military’s media wing, the CCC meeting also vowed to continue supporting the strategic initiatives planned by the government for the revival of the national economy by providing all possible support for the overall wellbeing of the people of Pakistan.
It said the forum had taken a “holistic review” of the ongoing actions being taken against illegal economic activities. “Pakistan Army will continue to provide all out support to the government and LEAs [law enforcement agencies] in taking strict lawful actions against illegal economic activities across the country,” it quoted Gen. Munir as saying. “Actions against hoarding and smuggling mafias and cartels in different domains will be further strengthened in coming days to rid the country from negative impact of such ill practices,” he added.
The meeting also reaffirmed an intent to fully support the federal government’s decision to repatriate and deport all illegally residing foreigners in Pakistan from Nov. 1, with the Army chief directing all concerned to support and facilitate the smooth, respectable and safe repatriation/deportation of all illegal foreigners.
While Pakistan has taken great pains to stress that the move targets all illegally residing foreigners, it is apparent that this policy would disproportionally impact Afghans, who comprise the bulk of the migrants residing in the country. Earlier, interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti told a press conference that of 24 suicide attacks reported in the country thus far this year, 14 had the involvement of Afghan nationals. The interim government has also held Afghans responsible for dollar smuggling, noting this hampers the country’s attempts to reduce inflation and achieve sustainability.
The participants of the CCC also offered fateha for the shuhadas of Mastung, Hangu and Zhob and paid rich tribute to the supreme sacrifices being continuously offered by security forces and law enforcement agencies in defense of the motherland while fighting terrorism. The meeting resolved that all terrorists, their facilitators and abettors, working on the behest of hostile forces to destabilize Pakistan, would be dealt with unflinching resolve of the state.
According to the ISPR, the forum was briefed on prevalent geostrategic environment, challenges to national security and the armed forces’ strategy to respond to the evolving threat. It reiterated the Pakistan Army’s resolve to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan against all kinds of direct and indirect threats, with the Army chief stressing on maintaining high standards of professionalism and motivation during operations and achieving excellence during training of formations.