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May 26, 2016



Drone attacks detrimental to Pak-US ties, says COAS

American envoy calls on army chief; Gen Raheel says strikes counter-productive for peace process, regional stability; violations of Pak sovereignty matter of grave concern

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said in  unequivocal terms that drone attacks carried out by the US inside Pakistan were detrimental to bilateral relations. He said that such acts of sovereignty violations were detrimental to relations between both the countries and were counter-productive for the ongoing peace process for regional stability.

He expressed these views during his meeting with US Ambassador David Hale, who visited the GHQ on Wednesday. The situation arising after the US drone strike in Balochistan on May 22, 2016 came under discussion.

Meanwhile, General Raheel Sharif visited the Armed Forces Institute of Ophthalmology (AFIO) to inquire after the army jawans who were injured in IED blasts and other attacks during the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, says an ISPR press release.

The COAS said that Pakistan’s efforts, successes and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism had been unparalleled.The COAS, while interacting with war heroes, paid richest tributes to their sacrifice and valour and said, “We never give up and never quit.”

To date, a total of 179 soldiers have lost their complete or partial eyesight due to IED blasts. At present, 56 valiant sons of the soil are undergoing treatment in the Armed Forces Institute of Ophthalmology, 30 out of whom have lost both their eyes. The COAS spent time with them and inquired after their wellbeing.

During his visit to the AFIO, the COAS was given a detailed briefing on the pilot project of the state-of-the-art Visual Rehabilitation Centre for visually disabled soldiers as the centre has the facilities of computer/IT lab, Braille, vocational and recreational activities.

The COAS was briefed that all efforts were being made to restore the eyesight of a few injured soldiers who are in a curable zone. General Raheel Sharif instructed all concerned to leave no stone unturned to provide the best medical treatment to these national heroes who had sacrificed their eyesight to help realise Quaid’s vision of Pakistan.

The COAS appreciated the standard of treatment and medical care being extended by a dedicated team of doctors and paramedical staff at the AFIO.Earlier, on arrival, the COAS was received by Adjutant General Lieutenant General Anwar Ali Hyder, and Lieutenant General Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army.