ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif yesterday said that the Armed Forces with the backing of the nation will defend each and every inch of the country at all costs.

“Let there be no doubt that our valiant Armed Forces have the capability to counter complete threat spectrum,” General Raheel Sharif said this while speaking to Army personnel near Kharian on Friday.

The army chief visited Kharian to inaugurate state-of-the-art upgradation features of National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC).

He said that Pakistan has been victim of terrorism for over a decade and sacrificed a lot, but we have turned the tide against terrorism primarily due to resilience displayed by the nation and professionalism of the security forces.

Lt Gen Umar Farooq Durrani briefed the army chief about various aspects of NCTC. He said that so far 231,000 troops of Armed Forces and 3,483 officers and men of police and Civil Armed Forces have been trained at NCTC.

He said that besides imparting anti-terrorists training at the centre, five joint exercises have also been conducted at NCTC with friendly countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Turkey.

Defence attaches of various countries were also present on the occasion.

The army chief's strongly-worded statement comes at a time when regional tensions are soaring as Pakistan and India face off at the 71st United Nations General Assembly over the Kashmir issue.

GEN RAHEEL BEST COMMANDER: UK ARMY CHIEF

INP adds: Chief of British Armed Forces Nicholas Carter lavished praise on General Raheel Sharif, stating that he is the best military commander in the world.

He was talking to the media after addressing the Pakistani community in Manchester.

He lauded Gen Sharif stating, “He is one of my good friends,” adding he viewed Pakistan’s Gen Raheel’s leadership skills with great regard.

The British army chief further said Pakistan’s sacrifices in connection with the continued war against terrorism are commendable.

Replying to a query regarding the ‘heightened situation’ at Indo-Pakistan border, the British general was non-committal stating the leaderships on both side of the border are extremely capable and they will go for the best option avoiding to escalate the situation.

Sir Nicholas Carter to another question said that a close relationship existed between the armies of Britain and Pakistan.