ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has on Saturday said that he convinced Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif to deploy soldiers within the country. He said that Raheel Sharif thought the soldiers were needed on the borders but was later convinced that it was important to fight terrorism inside Pakistan, reported Dunya News.
Holding a press conference in Islamabad, Chaudhry Nisar said that the operation against terrorism was a coordinated effort by the civil-military leadership. He said that two operations had been conducted, in Swat and South Waziristan, before the current government took over but the number of terrorist attacks had ‘hit the roof’ after each.
“So there had to be a backlash. I told General Raheel Sharif that the police wasn’t equipped for coping with terrorism. They do a lot of work, and give it everything they have but they just don’t have the training to fight terrorism. I told him I need the army in the third tier for the first couple of years. General Raheel Sharif said that soldiers were required on the borders. I said that they were needed more inside the country”.
“So we sat down together. Ministry of Interior and Military Operations Directorate discussed the situation. We formulated a plan. It was called Integrated Security Mechanism. General Amir Riaz was Director General of Military Operations at the time. And I must give the credit here that General Raheel Sharif went an extra mile to listen to my point of view”.
“As a result, 33,000 soldiers were put at the disposal of Interior Ministry. They were the third line of defence. First line of defence was police while second was civil armed forces. Later, intelligence cooperation and coordination plan was devised by Ministry of Interior”.
Nisar said that over 20,000 intelligence operations were conducted in the country while 90% of them were conducted by the police. It was a coordinated effort, he said. “I didn’t highlight it earlier but now I will because there’s a lot of criticism over this”, he said.
Interior Minister added that he had openly stated before the parliament that the federal government was ready to take the failures on its shoulders and the success would be collective. “I think the opposition took this one line more seriously”, he said.