Loud and clear

COAS says Karachi operation will be taken to logical end

ISLAMABAD – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel has said on Sunday that Pakistan Army is capable of dealing with any kind of situation and has acquired major successes in the war on terror. The army chief said the terrorists were on the run and vowed that the operation against militancy would be taken to its logical end.

He was addressing a special ceremony in connection with Defence Day at GHQ to pay tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan. The ceremony was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad Mehmood, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif among others.

Gen Raheel Sharif warned the enemies of Pakistan that they should keep in mind that in case of any aggression they would have to face irreparable loss. He said September 6 was an important day in Pakistan’s history, when it repulsed the enemy’s attack and inflicted heavy losses on it. “I’m honoured that soldiers from that war are present among us today. The army chief said that in the past 50 years Pakistan has seen many ups and downs. “But I can say with certainty that today we are stronger than before and the nation is more hopeful than ever.”

Gen Raheel said Kashmir has been an unresolved regional issue and for the past seven decades the people of Kashmir have been facing Indian hostility and cruelty. “There can be no peace in the region without resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the UN resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.” The army chief said operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched at a time when terrorist networks had solidified in the country, adding that the armed forces had been fighting an “untraditional war” for the past many years. “Our success is the result of our martyrs and ghazis.”

General Raheel said the Peshawar school massacre was the epitome of barbarity and praised the parents who had shown immense patience in the face of the atrocity. “Their patience gave the nation a new motivation,” said Gen Raheel, adding that today most terrorists involved in the school attack had “met their fate”. “Today, armed forces and all security agencies are in control of the situation and the writ of the state has been fully established.” Gen Raheel said the journey to success was a tough one. “Now all state institutions have to play their role so that all objectives of the National Action Plan (NAP) are achieved soon.”

He also paid tributes to FATA residents for their sacrifices, adding that IDPs’ return to their homes had already begun and the process will be further expedited. The COAS also paid rich tribute to the country’s media for unveiling the “true face of terrorists” which, he said, was a key aspect of the war against militants. The army chief reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers, sympathisers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs. Talking about the situation in Karachi and Balochistan, he said peace had returned in the areas after coordination between civil and military leaderships, adding that operations in both regions will be taken to logical conclusions.

The army chief said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was not only crucial for Pakistan, but would benefit the entire region. “Therefore, its completion is a national duty and Pakistan Army will play its full role to that end.” General Raheel also said Afghanistan and Pakistan were tied by blood, and the two countries had a deep-rooted, historic relationship. “We have taken sincere efforts for peace in Afghanistan. Some forces want to foil these efforts but we will never let them succeed.”

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