Army ready to counter cross-border attacks

MANGLA: Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Thursday that the army had made all arrangements to counter any terrorist attack from across the Afghan border.

Talking to journalists after watching Al Samsaam-IV, a joint military exercise with Saudi land forces near Jhelum, he expressed the hope that no such attack would take place.

Gen Kayani said Saudi Arabia had played an important role to maintain peace and stability in the region, especially in Afghanistan, and it still had a role in the neighbouring country and in regional security.

He said he had confidence in Pakistan Army that it was capable of defending the country.

In reply to a question, he said the army had achieved success against terrorists in Swat, Malakand and Waziristan, but there was no military solution to every problem.

He said the civil administration should take charge in areas which had been cleared by the army because it could not stay in any area permanently.

The army chief said the joint military exercises with Saudi Arabia were aimed at enabling the two forces to benefit from each other`s experience in counter-terrorism operations.

Terming Saudi Arabia a most important country for Pakistan, Gen Kayani said alongside government-to-government relations, the people of both the countries also enjoyed good brotherly relations.

Saudi Land Forces Commander Lt-Gen Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud said joint ventures like this would enhance the combat preparedness of the troops of both countrie

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