Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Monday said his government was firmly committed to end bloodshed and violence in the country and stressed complete unity amongst all stakeholders to tackle the challenge.

The Prime Minister said in this regard it was vital that the political parties, military, and civil society were on the same page, so as to create an enabling environment necessary to tackle this menace. Addressing the officers and jawans who participated in the fourth Azam-e-Nau exercise in the northern fringes of the Cholistan desert, the Prime Minister however said “it cannot be done over-night, nor can it be done by unleashing senseless force against our citizens, without first making every effort to bring the misguided and confused elements of society, back to the mainstream.”

He mentioned that in this regard as an extraordinary expression of national unity and cohesion, the All Parties Conference (APC) underlined the imperative need of “giving peace a chance.”

“Unity among all stakeholders including political parties, Military Forces, Executive, Judiciary, Parliament and the Media, is very much required in these difficult times.”

“No one wants any further bloodshed,” the Prime Minister stressed.

“We have seen enough of that and our soldiers have paid the highest price in the form of embracing martyrdom. Their toil and blood has contributed towards making the defence of the country resolute and impregnable,” he added.

The Prime Minister who witnessed a show of accurate air and ground based fire power and coordination between the various wings for deadly strikes. The Prime Minister along with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Services Chiefs, Federal Ministers, Members of the Parliament also witnessed the event.

During the exercise, the army air defence also demonstrated successfully taking down a drone by targeting it with the 35mm Orlikon guns, while the troops from infantry, armoured, artillery, army aviation and air defence used a variety of platforms to hit their targets.

Prime Minister Sharif in his address said the government has made its position clear that drone strikes constituted a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, violative of international humanitarian laws, besides being counter-productive to our efforts for bringing peace and stability in Pakistan and the region.

Prime Minister said Pakistan today faced serious challenges both within the country and at international level.

“But there is hope, a hope to rise through and meet these challenges. We are located at the crossroads of competing and converging interests,” Sharif said.

He said the national security paradigm of Pakistan evolves within the context of its peculiar geography, history and culture and determines the contours of national and military response.

Prime Minister Sharif said gone were the days when Pakistan’s National Security Policies were determined through telephone calls from abroad.

“We now have a democratically elected Government, chosen by the people of Pakistan,” he said.

He said it was the chosen government that took the decision to make this nation a Nuclear Power, that indigenously manufactured the JF-17 Thunder aircraft, the Al-Khalid and Al-Zarar Tanks and many more national security systems.

“The real power lies in the hands of citizens of Pakistan to decide what they want,” the Prime Minister said.

“I am thankful to Almighty Allah who has blessed us with the understanding to be united when it comes to protection of our motherland.”

The Prime Minister said Pakistan’s military strategy was based on credible minimum deterrence and highest state of preparedness encompassing optimized set of military capabilities, remains it cornerstone.

“Our democratic system, economic potential, vibrant population, national unity, and professional Armed Forces provides strategic stability to the South Asian region.”

He said the Pakistan Army has always stood by the people of Pakistan in thick and thin. Be it natural calamities like floods and earthquakes, maintaining law and order, imparting training to law enforcement agencies, Army has always come in aid of the civilian government.

“This passion of being in the forefront is something that we as a nation are very proud of,” he said.

The Prime Minister said it was said that “those who sweat more, bleed less”, was made clear with the particular display of military professionalism and said it would not only warm the hearts of all Pakistanis but will also make it very clear that country’s Armed Forces were the best and ever-ready to take up any challenge.

Prime Minister said it has to be understood that economic development was closely linked to peace and security, stable economic environment facilitates growth and development.

“In my recent visits abroad, I made it very clear that we do not want financial aid. Rather, Pakistan intends to maintain foreign relations on the basis of bilateralism while at the same time safeguarding our political, economic and national sovereignty.”

The Prime Minister said he felt privileged to witness an important and highly anticipated professional activity of Pakistan Army that marks the culmination of 5-years long training process conceived and executed by Pakistan Army.

“I wish to congratulate all the participants on this commendable achievement which reflects par excellence standards of our Armed Forces,” the Prime Minister said.

“I sincerely appreciate and thank our valiant soldiers and their families again for the sacrifices rendered. The nation is proud of them all.”

He said having witnessed the military capability and dedication, it was very re-assuring that our integrity and security is in safe hands.

The Prime Minister thanked General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Chief of Army Staff for inviting him to this spectacular demonstration of military skills.

The Prime Minister at the conclusion of his speech raised the slogans; Pakistan Armed Forces “ZINDABAD” and Pakistan “PAINDABAD”.