KARACHI: Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen Raheel Sharif has vowed to rid the country from the scourge of terrorism, asserting that "all negative forces" would be scuttled.
"The new year will be the year when terrorism will end," he said yesterday while addressing tribal elders of Gwadar, Talar and Turbat areas of Makran division.
The new year would be the "year of national solidarity", he said, adding that the nation would witness the birth of peace and justice in the year.
Gen Sharif, however, stressed the need for the entire nation to extend support to the armed forces in this regard.
"Peace and justice will be ensured across the country with the support of the nation," he was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
He said the "elements involved in the bad practice of financial misappropriation" should also be dealt with strictly.
There was a nexus between terrorism, corruption and crime, he said, adding that the elements involved in terrorism and financial corruption had developed close relations to help each other out.
All the "negative forces" in the nexus would be defeated, said the army chief during a visit to review the progress made in the projects undertaken by army engineers as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He went on to add that Balochistan would be turned into a peaceful province.
The army would help make the Gwadar seaport fully functional, he said, adding that the port would bring progress and prosperity to the people of Balochistan.
The army chief directed the officials concerned to take stringent measures for the security of engineers and labourers, particularly the Chinese nationals, working on various projects.
While highlighting the importance of the under- construction projects, Gen Sharif said all possible measures would be taken in collaboration with the provincial government to make Gwadar a safe city for local and foreign investors.
Underlining the potential of Balochistan as a hub for trade in the region, he said that completion of the projects was directly linked to the law and order situation and vowed that the armed forces would take all necessary actions to help bring back normalcy in the province.-Asfar