Naveed Aman Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi along with his core team of ministers. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of State for Interior Shaharyar Afridi and Secretary Defence. The Premier was received on arrival at the GHQ by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and members of his cabinet were proud to meet command of the world’s best army. The detailed briefing given to him and his cabinet at GHQ was of great value. The Premier was introduced to all Principal Staff Officers of the GHQ and briefed on defence, internal security and other professional matters in an eight-hour session. Khan’s visit followed first-ever official interaction between Chief Executive and Army Chief at the Prime Minister’s Office. The visit was momentous for many reasons. This was the first ever visit of Imran Khan to the GHQ in the capacity of Prime Minister. The two had expressed the resolve to continue efforts for enduring peace in the country. They reiterated their determination for lasting peace and stability in the country. Overall security situation in the region was discussed in detail.
Prime Minister Imran Khan assured that the government would provide all resources required to maintain capability and capacity of the Army. Pakistan is facing external and internal challenges but with the support of the nation and through a cohesive national approach, these challenges would be overcome.
The Prime Minister and the Ministers were given detailed briefing on security environment, threat spectrum and response. Updates on Pakistan Army’s campaign against terrorism, ongoing Operation Raddul Fassad, the Karachi situation and Khushal Balochistan programme were also given. The Premier appreciated professionalism, operational readiness, contribution and sacrifices of the Pakistan Army in the years’ long war against terrorism.
The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa thanked the Prime Minister for his visit and posing confidence in the Army. The Army Chief assured that the Pakistan Army will, InshaAllah, continue to deliver on nation’s expectations of defending the motherland at all costs and sacrifices. Upon arrival, the Prime Minister was presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned-out contingent of the Army. Imran Khan laid a floral wreath at the Shuhada Monument to pay tribute to the martyrs. The visit was momentous for many reasons. This was the first ever visit of Imran Khan to the GHQ in the capacity of Prime Minister. This moment is listed as the first-ever in the country’s history.
The visit confirmed that there is no friction between the new democratic government and the military at any level at all. Overall, the visit gave a vibe of harmony between institutions. Another significant reason was the briefing of the Prime Minister before the visit of several foreign delegates. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif arrived on August 30, marking the first official visit of a country’s top diplomat since the formation of the new government. The Iranian Foreign Minister met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a one-to-one meeting. The Iranian Foreign Minister also met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Moreover, Japanese State Minister Kazuyuki Nakane also arrived in Islamabad for a two-day visit where he met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other government officials. The US Defence Secretary James Mattis has confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Joseph Dunford will visit Pakistan next week to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.
For the first time in the history of Pakistan the Executive, the Armed Forces, the Judiciary and the nation are seen on one page all together. For the development of the country and the nation it is ideal situation which this nation has never seen before. Pakistan is facing gigantic issues but the national commitment and consensus will overcome these matters steering the country out of the crises situation. All the components of the government have joined hands to pull the country and the nation out of the marshes of distress and depression. The country and the nation in the past have been suffering because of unnecessary confrontation and conflicts of the power pillars. With close coordination and cooperation amongst all institutions we can succeed and overcome all challenges confronting Pakistan. If committed and charged Prime Minister Imran Khan kept on focusing the boom of the country and the nation he seems to steer the both. The beginning is ideal. Pakistan is destined to rise and InshaAllah we’ll rise staying positively relevant in the comity of nations.
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.