Pakistan will protect Afghanistan but expects same approach from them, says Gen Raheel


RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said Pakistan will do all efforts to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan but expects the same level of commitment from the neighbouring country.

Gen Raheel said this during his visit to meet troops deployed at forward bases in North and South Waziristan Agency on Eidul Fitr, the military’s media wing said on Wednesday.

He offered Eid prayers along with other senior military brass in Shawal area and interacted with troops, read a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.

The army chief commended the morale and spirit of troops “fighting on the front line to protect their motherland”, it read.

“As consolidation goes on and operational dividends optimised for Pak-Afghan border region, Pakistan will not allow anyone to use its soil against Afghanistan,” he said and further directed all military commanders, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures against violators.

“Peace and stability along Pak-Afghan border remains our priority, towards which we will commit all our efforts,” Gen Raheel maintained.

He said border management and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees are important enablers for lasting peace.

“Our efforts for peace in Afghanistan have been acknowledged. While we are committed to facilitate the reconciliation process with sincerity, commitment and resolve, we expect that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used against Pakistan.”

Later, during his trip to Datta Khel, Gen Raheel was briefed by the Corps Commander and the Formation Commander about the ongoing sanitisation and stabilisation operation as part of Zarb-i-Azb and post-operation security environment, ISPR stated.

“Our nation and the valiant army have paid a huge price for eliminating terrorist and restoring peace in the country. We will not let these sacrifices go waste,” the army chief asserted.

Gen Raheel maintained that military operations against terrorists of all hue and colour will continue.

The army chief said “with Fata cleared and terrorists being chased across the country, we are determined not to allow them to return and reverse our gains”.

Earlier on arrival on the front lines, the army chief was received by Lt Gen Hidayat Ur Rehman, Corps Commander Peshawar.

Modi calls Nawaz, extends Eid greetings

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday to extend Eid greetings.

In his phone call to Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London after undergoing a heart surgery, Modi wished the premier speedy recovery, read a statement issued PM House.

After the Shawal moon was sighted on Tuesday evening, Pakistanis are celebrating Eidul Fitr on Wednesday. However, India will celebrate the auspicious occasion on Thursday.

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