56 out of 161 militants hanged to death : DG Military Operations briefed senate

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa briefed Senate on national security today.

He reached parliament house building along with Director General ISI Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar. Director General Military Operations and Director General ISPR  are also present in the building.

While briefing the Whole Parliament Committee, DG Military Operations (MO) told that military courts have given verdicts on 274 cases till now, sources said.

“161 militants have been given death penalties while 56 out of them have been hanged,” DG MO added.

He further told the committee that 13 were hanged before Operation Rad-ul-Fasaad while 43 were hanged after operation started.

“160 cases were sent to General Bajwa after he became Army Chief and verdict on 33 have been give,” DG said.

This is the first time in Pakistan’s political history that an army chief will brief the senate on national security .

Furthermore, Army Chief briefed the senate about his visits to Afghanistan and Iran. Gen Bajwa is also likely to take the Senate committee into confidence over US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent visit to the country.

Deputy Chairman Senate Ghafoor Haidery welcomed the army chief in parliament house. Aitzaz Ahsan and Raja Zafral-ul-Haq also met General Bajwa .

According to a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat on Sunday, the in-camera briefing to the Whole Committee of the House will be held in the parliament building, and it has been arranged to help enable the Upper House to prepare guidelines in the light of emerging regional realities and the role of the United States.

The Committee of the Whole House was formed in August on a motion by the leader of the house “to prepare policy guidelines in the light of emerging regional realities and the role of the US”.

Regional security situation following US President Donald Trump’s decision of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Saudi Arabia’s initiative of Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) were also likely to be discussed at the meeting.

The vital in-camera meeting of the committee, encompassing the whole Upper House of parliament , had been scheduled today.

According to the notification: “Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Maj-Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza will also brief the House alongside the army chief .”

The meeting is expected to devise a strategy over “the emerging national securityparadigm for the country with respect to recent visits/developments”.

The move apparently comes after senators from both sides of the aisle asked the government last week to take the parliament into confidence over Pakistan’s role in the Saudi-led 41-nation counter-terrorism coalition.

By and large, all the senators were of the view that Pakistan should send its troops for the defence of holy places in Saudi Arabia, but should not send them for fighting against any other Muslim country.

“Why the defence minister who had attended the inaugural meeting of the IMCTC has not taken the House into confidence,” some of the senators lamented and demanded from the government to share details of the IMCTC’s terms of reference (ToRs) with the parliament .

Pakistan Peoples’ Party Senator Farhatullah Babar said a few months ago that the then defence minister Khawaja Asif had assured the House that the ToRs for participation in the alliance would be placed before the Senate before taking any decision.

Senator Babar said the military commander of the coalition has also been quoted as saying that the coalition encompasses four key areas – ideology, communications, counterterrorism financing and fighting terrorism besides carrying out other international security and peacekeeping efforts.

He was of the view that each of these areas, particularly the one relating to ideology, would have far-reaching consequences for Pakistan.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani had endorsed the standpoint of Senator Babar saying Khawaja Asif, who is now the foreign minister, had assured that the Senate would be taken on board before joining any venture with the Saudi-led military alliance.

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