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'Pak Army cannot overlook conventional threats'

world Updated: May 31, 2008 21:49 IST

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Low-intensity conflict remains in "sharp focus" of the Pakistan Army, but it cannot ignore the need to maintain a high degree of response against conventional threats, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Saturday.

Interacting with troops at Tilla field firing ranges near Jhelum in Punjab province, Kayani said the army has the "challenging task of responding to the full spectrum of conflict".

"While low-intensity conflict remains in sharp focus, the importance of maintaining a high degree of response capability against conventional threats cannot be ignored," he said.

Large numbers of Pakistani troops are currently deployed in the country's northwestern areas bordering Afghanistan to counter the activities of the local Taliban militants.

Kayani witnessed a field firing exercise and battle inoculation manoeuvres conducted in a "near real operational environment". A large number of troops participated in the exercise, said a statement issued by the army.

He emphasised the need for the army to remain focused on professional excellence.