No militant camps exist on Pakistani soil, COAS tells Munich Security Conference

MUNICH: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa told a military conference in Munich that Pakistan defeated al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban and other outlawed militant groups, and they can proudly say that no organised militant camps exist on Pakistani soil today.

The army chief said so while giving Pakistan’s perspective on global and regional security at Munich Security Conference in Germany.
General Bajwa said that terrorists have sanctuaries in Afghanistan, from where attacks are being coordinated against Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan is ready to cooperate for peace and stability in Afghanistan, however, stressed on joint efforts by all the countries to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
Expressing concerns over terrorists’ presence in Afghanistan, the COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken fencing of its border with Afghanistan and that elimination of terrorism requires global cooperation.
“We can proudly say that there are no militant camps in Pakistan,” he said, mentioning reports of Daesh (Islamic State) militants’ regrouping in Afghanistan.
He maintained that the territory of neither of Pakistan and Afghanistan should be used against the other.
The COAS said that Pakistan has been implementing National Action Plan (NAP) in the war against terrorism.
He said that Pakistan is not just conducting military offensives against terrorists, rather it has also taken action against the financiers.
General Bajwa said the menace of terrorism was fought through joint efforts by the entire nation, noting that clerics from all schools of thought issued a decree against terrorism in the name of religion.

‘Jihad can only be sanctioned by state’

In his introductory speech on ‘Jihadism after Caliphate’, the COAS said, “…the present jihadism is a misnomer. Jihad is a highly award concept that underlines struggle against tyranny of all types. Muslims are taught that control of self is the most alleviated form of Jihad.
“There is also saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that the best of Jihad is a word of truth in the face of a tyrant ruler. On the other hand, Qital (fighting) and the aspect of armed Jihad comes at the lowest end of the spectrum of actions and beliefs that comprise the concept of Jihad and can only be sanctioned by a state authority and nobody else,” he said while addressing attendees at the conference.
General Bajwa, however, said that “there is no denying of the fact that a powerful concept such as Jihad can be easily misused for propagating extremism and terrorism, particularly as many Muslims world over are not only feeling alienated, but disowned, targeted and devoid of positive expression.”
He said that same was true for the concept of caliphate, which is more of a “nostalgic response, rather than the actual possibility for most Muslims.”
“In Pakistan, the notion of caliphate has not found any traction,” the COAS said.