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Pakistan always been strong and today it is stable: General Raheel Sharif

07 September, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: The army chief said that 50 years later, this day had also become the emblem of the sacrifices, steadfastness, and bravery of all those martyrs and heroes who successfully stood up to such enormous challenges as Operation Zarb-e-Azb and a decade-long war against terror. “I want to make it clear to all enemies of Pakistan that Pakistan has always been strong and today it is stable.”

Addressing a ceremony on Defence Day at the General Headquarters (GHQ), General Raheel said called for countrywide implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

Addressing the gathering, the COAS paid rich tribute to the martyrs and veterans of the 1965 War. “Today we have gathered to pay tribute to those martyrs and heroes of the nation whose unmatched sacrifices, courage and sense of duty has enabled us to breathe in an independent and respectable country.”

He said that the war of September 1965 was a glorious chapter of our national history that bestowed a new determination and unity upon the people of this country. “The supreme valour of the men and officers of the Pakistan Army, Air Force, and Navy has made this day the most distinguished day in the history of Pakistani nation,” he said.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday stressed the need for lasting reforms in the system to break the nexus between corruption and terrorism.

The COAS said that for the past few years, the country was faced with the menace of terrorism and an unconventional war in which the nation and the armed forces had rendered countless sacrifices side by side. “While terrorism has crumbled many countries around the world, Pakistan, by the grace of Allah Almighty, has valiantly fought these challenges.”

He said that a few years ago, the country faced terror attacks almost on a daily basis. “No part of the country, including defence installations, was beyond the enemy’s reach. The writ of the state had practically ended in many parts of the country.” however, he said that as the COAS, he held full faith in the capabilities and resolve of the armed forces of Pakistan. “It was this faith that encouraged us to launch Operation Zarb-e-Azb.”

He said that the process of indiscriminate elimination of terrorists from the country – that was started two years ago in the form of Zarb-e-Azb – attained its laid-down military objectives.

He said that in this long voyage of success, the army had been aided by invaluable sacrifices rendered by the Rangers, Frontier Corps, police and Levies.

He said that during the war against terrorism, almost 18,000 innocent citizens and 5,000 officers and soldiers of the armed forces had laid their lives, while more than 48,000 Pakistanis had suffered serious injuries. “We shall not allow the sacrifices of our martyrs go in vain.”

General Raheel Sharif also urged scholars, intellectuals and the media to propagate the peaceful and universal message of Islam in order to eradicate the negative notions of extremism.

“In order to root out terrorism, we must also remove such weaknesses in our criminal justice system which impede the complete eradication of terrorism. The evil nexus of heinous crimes, corruption and terrorism is a great impediment to achieving complete peace, and is a cause of social unrest.” He said that effective and far-reaching reforms were needed to break this nexus.

“For the operation to yield its full dividends, all stakeholders and institutions of the state must play their respective roles with utmost sincerity and commitment.

Reiterating that Afghanistan is our neighbour and brotherly Islamic country, he said that peace and stability there was vital to Pakistan’s own interest.

“We desire peaceful relations with all our neighbours, but the fact can never be overlooked that the true assurance of peace in the region is the balance of power,” the army chief said. “Despite all external machinations and instigations, we are ever prepared for the defence of our borders and are capable to defend our dear homeland in all domains, may it be conventional or unconventional.”

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