KARACHI: The military establishment took direct ownership of Karachi operation on Wednesday when Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif termed lasting peace in the country’s business capital the “ultimate aim” of the Rangers-led exercise. “Peace (in Karachi) is crucial because of its direct link with the country’s economic progress.”
The fresh resolve showed by the chief of army staff to restore peace in Karachi at a meeting at the Corps Headquarters here was blended with the message that the operation, launched over two years ago, was not going to end anytime soon.
“All efforts must be directed with a focused approach to achieve this objective,” he was quoted as saying by a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
According to it, Gen Raheel “expressed satisfaction over the pace and success of the operation and praised the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, intelligence and other law-enforcement agencies for their “phenomenal achievements and sacrifices in improving security environment in Karachi”.
He also appreciated people of Karachi over their “unflinching support for security forces”.
The meeting was presided over by the army chief and attended by the corps commander of Karachi and the directors general of the Inter-Service Intelligence, the Military Intelligence and the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh.
Gen Sharif was briefed on the ongoing Karachi operation, including intelligence-based actions by the paramilitary force and other law-enforcement agencies.
His remarks about the link of the country’s economic progress with peace in Karachi came just a day after he expressed almost the same idea while addressing a seminar on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Gwadar.
He said that the project had been appreciated by some of the world powers who deemed it a catalyst of economic transformation for the region.
He also touched on the army’s contribution to the completion of the vital project and said that dividends of the CPEC be reaped not only by Balochistan but would spread across the entire rim of Indian Ocean.
Before the Wednesday meeting, it was in January when Gen Sharif had presided over a similar meeting at the Corps Headquarters on Karachi operation and vowed to go to “any length” for peace in the city.
Before the latest meeting, he addressed faculty members, participants and allied officers of the Air War Course and dilated on current global issues, regional security environment and fight against terrorism, said the ISPR statement.
“He (Gen Sharif) resolved to take the fight to its logical end and help create an environment to embark the country on the road to development,” it said. “He lauded the Pakistan Air Force’s role and contributions in support of army in Operation Zarb-i-Azb. Synergy achieved between air and land forces has been highly appreciable, he said.”
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2016