Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on Wednesday visited the northwestern Swat valley where a military operation is under way against religious extremists, security officials said.
The visit is his first since a massive downward spiral of insecurity after militants loyal to radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah last year launched a bloody campaign to establish Islamic Sharia law in the former tourist mecca.
"The visit is important in view of the prevailing situation in Swat," a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The army chief met with senior officers and soldiers engaged in the military operation, he said.
Kayani was briefed by operation commander Major General Ejaz Hussain Awan and reviewed progress being made on the ground, he said.