Stung Pakistani army may soon start building new HQ in Islamabad


Islamabad : Work on the sprawling new headquarters of the Pakistani Army may begin soon here following the audacious attack on its fortified premises in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which left at least 19 people dead.

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Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had halted the construction of the new General

Headquarters (GHQ) in Islamabad last year after the government declined to provide assistance for the construction of the complex, The News International reported Monday.

On Saturday, terrorists had struck at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, adjacent to Islamabad. The bloody siege came to an end Sunday after crack commandos stormed the complex, freeing 39 hostages. The leader of the terror group Aqeel alias Dr. Usman was arrested. He is also accused of masterminding the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

The media report stated that the armed forces and the government would review the decision to shelve the GHQ construction next month “so that its construction might be restarted without any further delay”.

Defence sources told The News that the GHQ’s compound is part of the capital’s master plan and about 2,000 acres of land was earmarked for the purpose in Sectors E-10 and E-11.

The existing GHQ does not fulfil the requirements of a base needed for war planning and its execution. The planned GHQ in Islamabad would fulfil the criteria of a new and secure GHQ, the sources said.

The army plans to sell land and some other assets to generate income that would be used for the construction of its headquarters in Islamabad.

Former president General Pervez Musharraf had laid the foundation stone of the GHQ in 2004 but no work could be started till 2006. The plan was later shelved.