RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has said that lack of progress on the National Action Plan is affecting the consolidation phase of military operation Zarb-e-Azb.

The "National Action Plan is central to achievements of our objectives and its lack of progress is affecting the consolidation phase of Ops Zarb-e-Azb," said the army chief, according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations

The army chief said this during a high-level meeting at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Friday to review the progress of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the National Action Plan (NAP).

He said, "Unless all prongs deliver meaningfully and all inadequacies are addressed, remnants of terrorism would continue to simmer and long term peace and stability would remain a distant dream."

"We have come a long way in fighting this war on terror and reversing the tide towards eliminating this scourge from our soil. The whole nation has been standing alongside its security forces," he said.

But the military's top commander pointed towards "distracting and inciting comments and theories by some quarters" which were undermining the national efforts in the fight against terrorism.

"While there has been considerable improvement in security environment and dividends have started to reach masses, any distracting and inciting comments and theories by some quarters are unhelpful and undermining the overall national effort," he said.

The army chief pointed out that a synergized national response was needed to successfully conclude those efforts. He said that criticism from some quarters can damage the national cause to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the country.

"I salute the people of Pakistan, all security forces and intelligence agencies, for their tireless efforts and sacrifices to bring about peace and stability," he was quoted as saying. 

The high-level meeting was attended by Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Corps Commander of Rawalpindi.

The forum reaffirmed its resolve to continue to contribute towards full spectrum national security, said the ISPR statement.