Pakistan

MULTAN – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has warned that any efforts to harm Pakistan’s national security will be met with a “befitting response”.

The premier said this during an inspection of military exercises showcasing combat-readiness of the armed forces on Wednesday, PM Nawaz and Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif  attended the event

The military exercises were conducted by the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force at Khairpur Tamewali near Bahawalpur, just days after seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in cross-border firing across the Line of Control (LoC).

Addressing the audience after conclusion of the military exercises, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “Exercise Raad ul Barq establishes that Pakistan is ready to confront any ambitious and reckless move by its enemies.”

“These exercises reflect the preparedness of our armed forces to respond to any threat to national security.” he added

“No country can remain oblivious to threats to national security,” the premier said.

Referring to Indian ‘aggression’ in India-held Kashmir, Nawaz said, “The brutal tactics used to curb recent spontaneous and indigenous movements in Jammu and Kashmir have been counter-productive.”

“Killing of civilians and soldiers along the LoC is another act of aggression that warrants international attention,” he added. “The situation at the border remains sensitive due to India’s grave violation of the ceasefire agreement.”

He said that a policy of non-interference is practiced by the state of Pakistan, which “expects the same from others to enable lasting peace in our region.”

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“We cannot remain detached from recent developments in the region. Efforts to harm security and territorial integrity will be met with befitting response”

“The enemies of Pakistan have made their intentions well-known,” he said.

“They cannot tolerate signs of development in this country,” which is why Pakistan has become a victim of terrorism, he claimed.

The premier, identifying Kashmir as a fundamental source of tension between Pakistan and India, said that the matter should be “addressed in a sincere and comprehensive manner keeping in mind the aspirations of Kashmiri people and UN resolutions.”

“CPEC is well on way to becoming fully operation in the coming months and years. All efforts will be made to ensure all projects are completed in given time frame,” the prime minister said.

“We have achieved what countries with far more resources have not been able to achieve,” Nawaz added.

Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa said in a tweet that Exercise Raad-ul-Barq is a comprehensive, integrated exercise that encompasses all weapons and calibers and showcases the combat-readiness of the armed forces “against our enemy”.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood, along with three services chiefs were also present at the occasion. The exercises are being carried out jointly by Pakistan Army and Air Force.

Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed briefed the audience about the military exercise adding that the purpose of the exercise was to increase the capability of Pakistan’s military.

Lt. General Nadeem further said Pakistan was fully capable of tackling any aggression.