ISLAMABAD - Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday night called for reforms to break the nexus between corruption and terrorism in order to fully consolidate the successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

Asserting that defence of the country was invincible, General Raheel Sharif said Pakistan armed forces would not let the sacrifices of martyrs go waste.

“I want to make it clear to all the enemies that already strong defence of Pakistan has now become invincible,” said army chief addressing Defence of Pakistan Day ceremony at GHQ to pay tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan.

Talking about the challenges the country is facing, he said: “I want to make it clear that we are fully aware of all covert and overt intrigues and intentions of our enemies.”

“Be it the challenge on military or diplomatic front; on the borders or within the cities, we know our friends and foes very well,” the army chief added.

“We know how to make friends, but we also know how to pay back our enemies,” General Raheel Sharif said.

He said there were elements which were trying to create misunderstandings and added that the military “will go to any length for the sake of national security”.

Regarding Kashmir, General Raheel said it was Pakistan’s jugular vein and praised people of the held valley for rendering innumerable sacrifices.

“We salute the great sacrifices of the people of Indian-held Kashmir for their right of self-determination,” he said, adding, “The solution of the problem lies in the implementation of the resolutions of United Nations in this regard. “Pakistan will continue to support Kashmir on the diplomatic and moral fronts.”

General Raheel said that Pakistan will pursue peace in Afghanistan with sincerity as it was in its own national interest and added that Pakistan wanted to develop mechanism with Afghanistan about border management to tackle the challenge of terrorism.

The army chief said the greatest example of a relationship based on mutual respect and principle of equality in the region was the Pak-China friendship.

“CPEC is the paramount evidence of this relationship… I would like to assure that we shall not allow any external force to obstruct it and any such attempt will be dealt with iron hands.”

General Raheel said the Operation Zarb-e-Azb had achieved its objectives to confront terror , saying the armed forced would go to any limit to ensure Pakistan’s security.

“Operation Zarb-e-Azb has attained its laid down military objectives, and, today, the Pakistan flag flutters high over all parts of our dear homeland.”

He praised the military, Levies, police and other law enforcement agencies for their utmost efforts to establish law and order in the country.

“There is a need to implement the National Action Plan in its letter and spirit”. He called for reforms to break the nexus between corruption and terrorism in order to fully consolidate the successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in the entire country.

“It is also necessary for the elimination of terror to strengthen our laws,” reiterated the army chief.

The army chief also paid tribute to people of the tribal area for the sacrifices they rendered, including leaving their generational abodes, for the sake of Pakistan.

The army chief also said that TDPs will return to their homes soon.

He added that North Waziristan had become a safe haven for terrorists, but the army has successfully achieved the goals of Zarb-e-Azb.

“In the battle for our survival, we will take every step according to the teaching of Allah and His Prophet (PBUH),” the army chief concluded.

Later, he also met with families of the martyrs who came from different parts of the country and assured them all help and cooperation for their well being.