Foundation stone for new GHQ: Musharraf vows to defend country
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf on Monday laid the foundation stone for a new complex for the General Headquarters (GHQ) which would be moved to Islamabad from Rawalpindi within five years.
Highlighting the importance of shifting all services headquarters to Islamabad, the president said that the co-location of the headquarters of army, navy and air force at one place would ensure an efficient working environment and create familiarity and understanding among the staff at various levels.
Addressing guests at the foundation stone-laying ceremony, President Musharraf reaffirmed the resolve to strengthen the nation and defend the frontiers at all cost.
“The decision to co-locate the services headquarters at Islamabad was taken after the 1965 war,” the president said, adding that budgetary constraints did not allow the shifting at that time.
The president said that the navy was given priority, as it had to shift from Karachi and air force from Peshawar. “Navy has completed the construction of its offices and residential accommodation while the air force is in the process of doing so,” he added.
Briefing journalists on the shifting of the GHQ, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Shaukat Sultan said the decision to shift the services headquarters was taken by former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on March 29, 1972.
Gen Sultan said 1,400 acres had been earmarked in sectors E-10 and D-11 for offices and residential accommodation of the GHQ, JS Headquarters and the Defence Ministry.
He said that the “A-one” category of military lands in the country would be sold to raise funds for the projects and 25 percent of the sale proceeds would go to the government while 75 percent of the proceeds would be spent on the construction of the GHQ and establishment of more cantonments and garrisons in the country,” he said. Shifting GHQ would reduce running expenditure by Rs 10 to 12 billion, he added.