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US drone strikes regrettable, must stop: COAS

Updated June 01, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said on Wednesday US drone strikes are regrettable and must stop as they are a threat to the sovereignty and security of the country.

Speaking informally to the media at a reception after attending President Mamnoon Hussain’s address to a joint session of Parliament, the chief added that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a national project and must be completed at any cost.

“The security situation in Karachi and Balochistan is improving,” said the army chief.

The COAS further said border management with Afghanistan is also improving, and now the responsibility lies with Aghanistan as there are fewer checkposts on the other side.

“Operation Zarb-i-Azb is underway across the country and failure is not an option for us,” said Sharif, adding that the successes gained so far in the operation would be consolidated.

“We have to maintain the victories of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. Terrorists will not be allowed to re-enter into areas cleared in South Waziristan and North Waziristan.”

The army chief and president also discussed issues of national security at length. The reception was also attended by JI chief Sirajul Haq, Akrami Durrani of JUI-F, Special Adviser for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and cabinet ministers, including Ishaq Dar.

President Mamnoon Hussain addressed the Parliament in a joint session on Wednesday to mark a new year in Parliament, discussing national security and foreign policy.

The session was also attended by the chiefs of the army, navy, and air force.