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Gen Kayani holds the keys
By:Maqbool Malik
Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 10:55 am

Gen Kayani of Pakistan holds the keys to Pak-American future.
COAS objects to US/Nato closure of checkposts

ISLAMABAD – Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Monday lodged a protest with visiting US Centcom Chief Gen David Petraeus over removing scores of security checkposts on Afghanistan side of Pak-Afghan border fearing it could encourage terrorists’ penetration into Pakistan.
Well-placed sources told TheNation that Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani expressed these views during his meeting with Gen David Petraeus at the GHQ.
According to the sources, host of issues came under discussion including war against terror, security situation on Pak-Afghan border, military operation in South Waziristan and other bilateral matters.

Gen Kayani expressed his deepest concerns with US Central Command Chief General David Petraeus over abolishing scores of checkposts on Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border and sought his immediate intervention.

The Centcom Chief, sources said assured Gen Kayani that he would take up the matter with ISAF and NATO commanders in Afghanistan.

However, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira and DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas on Monday denied that any checkposts on Afghan side of Pak-Afghan border were removed. “There is no such information”, they said while answering volley of questions.

DG ISPR also ruled the possibility of infiltration into Pakistani territory. “Our security forces have surrounded Waziristan Agency. Moreover our troops are present on Pak-Afghan border to check border crossings”, DG ISPR added.

Gen Kayani, informed sources said, also underscored the need for sharing of real time intelligence between Pakistan and US-led forces about movement of insurgents across the Pak-Afghan border.
Gen Petraeus commending the role of Pakistan and its armed forces in war against terror maintained that these sacrifices would never be forgotten.

In another development, Gen Kayani expressed his reservations with Senator John Kerry over attached strings to Pakistan’s national security in the Kerry-Lugar Act, saying Pakistan Army was not opposed to US aid but to the conditions related to country’s national security.

Gen Kayani made these observations while talking to Senator Kerry who called on him at GHQ, informed sources said.

According to the sources US Senator who also discussed scores of other issues, assured Gen Kayani that Kerry-Lugar Act was for the support of Pakistan and would greatly help in enhancing capabilities of security forces of Pakistan.