ISLAMABAD - Country’s top civil and military leadership on Thursday reiterated its resolve to defend territorial integrity of the motherland at all costs and vowed to take ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists to its logical conclusion.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at a meeting here took stock of the internal and external security situation as well as progress on Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
There was no official statement issued about the meeting, however informed sources said both the leaders discussed at length threatening statements issued by New Delhi against Islamabad and subsequent security measures taken by Pakistan on its eastern border with India.
“The meeting also reviewed security situation on Line of Control (LoC),” a senior government official told TheNation while requesting anonymity.
Likewise, the meeting thoroughly reviewed security situation on Pak-Afghan border and expressed satisfaction over the close coordination between security forces of Pakistan as well as Afghanistan in hunting down the terrorists.
Pakistan security forces have gained successes against terrorists in Fata region by clearing hideouts of the terrorists since launch of military operation code Zarb-e-Azb last year. Over the year, hundreds of high profile terrorists have either been killed or arrested and their safe heavens eliminated.
“Hardly 10 percent of the total area is left near Afghan border to be reclaimed from the terrorists”, a senior security officer privy to the situation said.
The meeting also expressed satisfaction over the pace of a bilateral standard operating procedure (SOP) being finalised by Islamabad and Kabul to ensure effective border management to deny freedom of action to terrorists for carrying out cross-border attacks in the two countries.
The meeting reiterated Pakistan’s total support to Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan for lasting peace and stability in the region.
The meeting decided that operation against criminals and terrorists will continue unhindered across the country to optimally utilise the environment created due to phenomenal successes of Zarb-e-Azb.
It was reiterated that Zarb-e-Azb would be taken to its logical conclusion, regardless of the cost, and terrorists and criminals would be hunted down indiscriminately.
The prime minister, while lauding the gains of operation Zarb-e-Azb in Fata, said the nation was proud of its valiant armed forces and highly valued the sacrifices rendered by officers and men in fight against terrorism. Assuring his fullest support, Nawaz said entire nation was standing behind armed forces in this war.
Meanwhile, talking to a news channel, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue till restoration of permanent peace and tranquility in the tribal areas.
Kh Asif said the international community had acknowledged the efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for peace in the South Asian region. He said the prime minister had a clear policy of maintaining friendly relations with neighbouring countries.