QUETTA: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said on Friday the nation would get rid of terrorism this year.
He was addressing tribal elders of Gwadar, Talar and Turbat areas of Makran division.
“The new year will be the year when terrorism will end,” he said.
Gen Sharif, however, stressed the need for the entire nation to extend support to the armed forces in this regard. He said the “elements involved in the bad practice of financial misappropriation” should also be dealt with strictly.
He said there was a nexus between terrorism, corruption and crime. The elements involved in terrorism and financial corruption had developed close relations to help each other out.
All the “negative forces” in the nexus would be defeated.
The new year would be the “year of national solidarity”, he said. The nation would witness the birth of peace and justice in the year.
“Peace and justice will be ensured across the country with the support of the nation,” he said.
The army chief said that Balochistan would be turned into a peaceful province.
The army would help make the Gwadar seaport fully functional, he said. The port would bring progress and prosperity to the people of Balochistan.
Gen Sharif said: “Pakistan is on way to success and happiness and the people of Balochistan will also benefit from this.”
The armed forces had been rendering great sacrifices for the cause of peace and stability in the country, he said.
Gen Sharif visited Turbat, Talar and Gwadar to review the progress made in the projects undertaken by army engineers as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The army chief was briefed in detail about the law and order situation in Balochistan, particularly in Makran division, and progress made in the ongoing projects.
He was informed that the security situation in the division had improved considerably. He paid rich tribute to army men and personnel of law enforcement agencies who had laid down their lives for security and development of the area.
The army chief expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken for restoration of peace in the division and directed the officials concerned to take stringent measures for the security of engineers and labourers, particularly the Chinese nationals, working on various projects.
While highlighting the importance of the under-construction projects, Gen Sharif said all possible measures would be taken in collaboration with the provincial government to make Gwadar a safe city for local and foreign investors.
Talking to the local elders, he paid tribute to the “proud and valiant people of Balochistan” and thanked them for their unconditional cooperation and support for the development projects.
He underlined the potential of Balochistan as a hub for trade in the region.
He said that completion of the projects was directly linked to the law and order situation and vowed that the armed forces would take all necessary actions to help bring back normalcy in the province.
Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2016