The country’s army chief on Tuesday vowed to consolidate the achievements made in the ongoing anti-terrorism campaign, which he said would be a tribute befitting those who lost their lives in the fight against terrorism.
Chairing a corps commanders’ meeting at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif also paid tributes to the victims of the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar.
Nearly 150 people — most of them children — were killed on December 16, 2014 in one of the most horrendous terrorist attacks to have been carried out on Pakistani soil.
Recounting the successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the meeting expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and saluted the victims of the APS carnage.
Remembering all the victims and survivors of the attack, the army chief said: “We shall continue to make efforts to consolidate our gains to make them sustainable, which will be a tribute befiitting all the Shuhada (martyrs) and the wounded.”
General Raheel reiterated that the operation against terrorists would continue until all the objectives are achieved.
He said the martyrs and the survivors of the APS attack had rendered great sacrifices for the country, which would be remembered forever. “The best way to pay homage to the martyrs is to continue the operation until terrorism is eliminated from the country.”
According to the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the corps commanders’ meeting was given comprehensive briefings on the internal and external security situation of the country.
The participants of the conference also took a holistic view of the emerging geo-strategic environment and its relevance to the security of the country.
A source said the military commanders also discussed efforts to revive the Afghan peace talks as well as the recent decision of Pakistan and India to resume their composite dialogue.
The top military brass agreed that reconciliation is the only viable option to end the conflict in Afghanistan that has persisted for decades, added the insider. “The fragile peace process is expected to resume soon. General Raheel is likely to travel to Kabul for crucial talks in this regard.”
Meanwhile, according to another statement issued by the ISPR, eight terrorists have been killed in aerial strikes in remote areas near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the restive Khyber Agency.
Two days earlier, a 35-kilo bomb had ripped through a busy weekly bazaar in Parachinar city, the headquarters of Kurram Agency, killing 24 people and injuring many more. The banned sectarian extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had claimed responsibility for the blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2015.