Armed forces will defend ‘every inch’ of country: COAS

  • General Raheel Sharif says Pakistan’s valiant forces capable of countering entire threat spectrum

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has said the armed forces will defend “each and every inch” of “our beloved country” no matter what the cost, according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday.

“Our valiant armed forces have the capability to counter complete threat spectrum and InshaAllah with the backing of entire nation we will defend each and every inch of our beloved country, no matter what the cost,” the army chief said in his address to officers during his visit to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) near Kharian.

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 in New York over the Kashmir issue.

“We have turned the tide against terrorism primarily due to resilience displayed by the whole nation and professionalism of our security forces,” he said, observing that Pakistan had been the victim of terrorism for over a decade and sacrificed a lot.

On the occasion, the army chief inaugurated state-of-the-art features to upgrade the infrastructure of NCTC to accommodate foreign armies and the growing demand of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for training with the army.

The army chief was informed that the addition of new facilities had turned the NCTC as the best counter-terrorism training facility amongst the contemporary armies.

The COAS was briefed by Lt-Gen Umar Farooq Durrani, the commander of the Strike Corps, about the various aspects of the NCTC, and told that so far 231,000 troops of armed forces and 3,483 officers and men of police and civil armed forces had been trained at the NCTC.

General Raheel Sharif was informed that besides imparting anti-terrorists training at the centre, five joint exercises had also been conducted at the facility with friendly countries, including China, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Maldives.

The COAS appreciated all those responsible for imparting training at the NCTC with a focused approach in enhancing capacity building of the LEAs through quality training, making best use of this fully equipped facility.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his address to the UN, maintained that Pakistan wanted peace with India, but it was “not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue”. The premier urged the UN to demilitarise Jammu and Kashmir and called for steps to implement UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.

India, exercising its right of reply, levelled serious allegations against Pakistan in its rebuttal, terming it a “terrorist state”.