Army chief orders more security for OIC summit

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ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Tuesday ordered that security be stepped up for the safe conduct of coming week’s Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign ministers’ meeting and the Pakistan Day cortege in the capital.

Gen Bajwa, while presiding over the fraternity commanders’ meeting at the General Headquarters, directed that comprehensive security measures be assured for peaceful conduct of the two events, the ISPR said in a statement.

The meeting of OIC’s Council of Foreign Minis­ters is being held on March 22-23 in Islamabad. Foreign ministers of 48 countries have verified their participation in the event. The March 23 Pakistan Day cortege, another periodic high- profile event, has assumed lesser significance this time as it’ll be witnessed by the foreign ministers attending the OIC meeting.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi too will be in Islamabad for the two events. Mr Yi will be the guest of honour at the OIC CFM meeting, according to a politic source.

The ISPR’s statement of the fraternity commanders meeting, meanwhile, said Gen Bajwa lauded the ongoing counter-terrorism operations.

The generals attending the meeting, according to the statement, “ expressed resoluteness to take all needful measures to insure security of the country”.

Although terrorism is a major concern especially because of recent incidents, growing political insecurity and opposition’s call for the long march against the government starting from March 23 and clustering on Islamabad the coming day was a bigger headache. Still, the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement on Tuesday night blazoned that the march’s actors would now enter the capital on March 25, rather of March 24.

The holdback of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad in 2014 because of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf’s sit- heft is still fresh in the minds of the organisers of the OIC event.

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