Strong defence key to maintain strategic balance in region, says PM
The prime minister said Pakistan’s defence capabilities meet the contemporary requirements as its strong defence has actually ensured peace in the South-Asian region.
The country’s defence potential was reflective of the nation’s bravery, steadfastness and resolve that showed how capable it was to face difficult situations.
“Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a continuation of this conviction, which has resulted in containing terrorists through combined will of our political leadership, determination of the nation, and sacrifices and professionalism of armed forces and security institutions.”
The prime minister said that an improved law and order situation in the country was encouraging; however, to maintain that there was a need to adopt an approach above political and personal interests.
Mr Sharif said changing global issues, internal and external conspiracies and terrorism were the challenges that demanded strong defence.
“We are proud that we did not overlook this fact and our defence capability meets the contemporary needs,” the premier said.
He mentioned that the country had attained self-reliance in production of advanced weapons. Hatf missile series, Al-Khalid and Zarrar tanks, JF-17 Thunder aircraft, Agosta submarines and the foremost of all and added, “our nuclear capability is the hallmark of our strong defence.”
He said September 6 would be remembered as an ardent and fervent occasion.
“On this day, our brave armed forces in shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation had given a clear message of protecting the sovereignty of the country, by defeating the enemies.”
He said, “No doubt, the sacrifices of the officials and jawans of our armed forces have enlivened our sovereignty, for which the whole nation pay tribute to them. We are proud of the professionalism and bravery of our armed forces.”
The prime minister said economic progress was essential for Pakistan, and mentioned, “We are fully focusing on mega projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the related projects of infrastructure and energy”.
“Increased trade relations with Central Asian states and East Asia will make Pakistan an economic power of the region.”
Mr Sharif also condemned Indian violence in the held Kashmir and said, the voice of Kashmiris could not be silenced through aggression, nor they could be deprived of their right to self-determination.
“We have a clear stance on Kashmir and believe that the solution to this issue only lies in the implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people,” he said.
“Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.”