ISLAMABAD - Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that a strong and respected Army is an asset of nation.

"As a Pakistani I am proud of the valour and sacrifices of the men in uniform for the defense of the motherland," the minister said in a press statement issued here on Friday.

He further said that in the last couple of weeks some misunderstanding cropped up based on his speeches delivered many years back in a different context and in a different environment. This created a misplaced perception about him, which is far from reality, Kh Asif said.

"It was neither my intention and nor my objective to undermine an institution which I hold in high esteem," he maintained.

The minister also said that at a time when armed forces are fighting on many fronts for the last many years and giving sacrifices unparalleled in history of Pakistan, it is a matter of great regret that an impression is being created by a section of the media about his views and feelings about rank and file of armed forces and the institution which is completely false and misleading.

DAR takes up defence budget with army chief

Monitoring Desk adds: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif at general headquarters (GHQ) on Friday, reported a private TV channel.

The meeting came on the eve of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Kakul Military Academy at the invitation of the army chief.

According to the ISPR, the federal minister discussed defence budget and other professional matters relating to the army with the COAS.