In a New Year’s message, Pakistan’s powerful army chief Gen Raheel Sharif has vowed to rid the country of terrorism, a pledge that will be monitored closely in India, which has borne the brunt of several cross-border terror attacks.
Asserting that “all negative forces” would be scuttled, Mr Sharif said: “The new year will be the year when terrorism will end.” He was addressing tribal elders of Gwadar, Talar and Turbat areas of Makran division on January 2. Stating that the New Year would be the “year of national solidarity”, he underlined that the nation would witness the birth of peace and justice in the year.
Stressing on the need for the entire nation to extend support to the armed forces in this regard, Mr Sharif said, “Peace and justice will be ensured across the country with the support of the nation.”
Mr Sharif also spoke about tackling financial misappropriation and emphasised on the people involved in it to be dealt with strictly. Adding that the elements involved in terrorism and financial corruption had developed close relations to help each other out, Mr Sharif elaborated on the nexus between terrorism, corruption and crime.
Reviewing the progress made in the projects undertaken by army engineers as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the army chief said that all the “negative forces” in the nexus would be defeated. Assuring protection to the Balochistan province, Mr Sharif said that all steps would be taken to bring back normalcy in the region.
India’s security brass has taken note of Gen. Shareef’s anti-terror vow, but is not convinced about his sincerity in tackling anti-India terror flowing from across the border. The terror attack on the Indian air base in Pathankot in Punjab on January 2 has raised serious questions about Pakistan’s commitment to combat terror. The onus is on Pakistan and Mr Sharif to walk the talk. If Pakistan doesn’t show tangible progress on the ground, the peace process with India could likely hit a roadblock again.
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