SINGAPORE: General Tariq Majid, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), said that cumulative effect of happenings in the Middle East, sledge hammer approach of Coalition Forces in contiguous Pashtoon areas of Afghanistan, cross border missile strikes causing civilian deaths in FATA. Gen. Tariq said that tendency of some of the Western Countries to micromanage our counter terrorism policies, have created a perception that GWOT is directed at Muslims.
“Besides stoking tribal revenge and gravitating support from elsewhere in their fight against the so perceived anti Islam War, this is obviously aggravating the conflict situation. Despite tactical / operational successes both inside Afghanistan and in Pakistan, the strategic goal of security stabilization remains elusive” he added. He said that “in fact the security situation has become more tenuous and complex as the challenges to domestic and regional stability have increased manifold. “CJCSC expressed these remarks while addressing the participants of 7th Shangri-La Dialogue organized by International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), London in Singapore” he added.
General Tariq highlighted that the need for review of policy approaches and operational mechanism to make timely readjustments which are critical to success. The way forward is to address the root causes and we must also recognize the reality that countering terrorism requires change of mindset and it is impossible to get rid of violent extremism by military means alone, rather a more holistic approach is needed to create an environment in-conducive to terrorism and extremism. “We should adopt a reprioritized comprehensive strategy based on political engagement and socio economic development, backed by essential military force to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism” he said.
CJCSC also emphasized on the need for more effective border control measures by the Coalition Forces operating on Afghanistan side of the border. He drew the attention of international community and the Afghan Government towards controlling alarming poppy growth to break the nexus of terrorists and drug barons, which is posing grave danger because narco trade is the main financial life line of terrorists and insurgents.
Rather than waiting for full restoration of security in the eastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan, the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts by Coalition Forcers should be made in tandem to help early stabilization, he added. On the sidelines of the conference, General Tariq also held a bilateral meeting with Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, United Kingdom to discuss the regional security situation and bilateral military cooperation.
CJCSC also held meetings with Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of Defence Force, Australia, Rohita Bogollagama, Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Peter Gordon Mackay, the Canadian Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
It is to recall that IISS is a world renowned institute for strategic and politico-military conflict studies. This institute is frequented by heads of states and policy makers from different countries to deliver lectures. Every year this institution holds a summit attended by leaders from different countries to discuss regional security and political issues at length with the aim of sharing experiences, developing and channeling astute, effective public policy on Defence and security. The ongoing summit is being attended by senior military and political representatives from 26 countries.-SANA