Pakistan’s strong defence has ensured peace in S.Asia: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Sept 6 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan’s defence capabilities meet the contemporary needs as its strong defence has ensured peace in South Asia.

“We do not want to join the arms race in the region, however, will continue to maintain a strategic balance in the region,” the Prime Minister said in his message on the country’s Defence Day.

The Prime Minister said the country’s defence capability was in fact reflective of the nation’s courage, steadfastness and determination and showed how capable it was to face difficult situations.

“Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a continuation of this conviction, which has resulted in containing terrorists through combined will of our political leadership, determination of the nation, and sacrifices and professionalism of armed forces and security institutions,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the improved situation of law and order in the country was encouraging and to maintain that, there was a need to adopt an approach by rising above political and personal interests.

Nawaz Sharif said the fast-changing global scenario, internal and external conspiracies and terrorism were the challenges that demanded strong defence, besides showing unity within ranks and file of the nation and faith.

“We are proud that we did not overlook this fact and our defence capability meets the contemporary needs,” he said.

He mentioned that the country had attained self-reliance in production of advanced weapons. Hatf missile series, Al Khalid and Zarrar tanks, JF-17 Thunder aircraft, Agosta submarines and the foremost of all, “our nuclear capability is the hallmark of our strong defence,” he added.

He said the September 6 would be remembered as an ardent and fervent occasion.

“On this day, our brave armed forces in shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation had given a clear message of protecting the sovereignty of country, by defeating the enemies,” he added.

“No doubt, the sacrifices of the officials and jawans of our armed forces have enliven our sovereignty, for which the whole nation pay tribute to them. We are proud of the professionalism and bravery of our armed forces,” he said.

The Prime Minister said economic progress was essential for national defence and solidarity, and mentioned that “We are fully focusing on mega projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the related projects of infrastructure and energy”.

He said the completion of those projects would ensure economic stability, and ultimately result in strong defence.
“Increased trade relations with Central Asian states and East Asia will make Pakistan an economic power of the region,” he added.

The Prime Minister also condemned the Indian barbarity in Occupied Kashmir.

“We have a clear stance on Kashmir and believe that the solution of this issue only lies in implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people,” he said.

He said the voice of Kashmiris could not be silenced through aggression, nor they could be deprived of their right to self-determination.

“Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people,” he added.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the martyrs of country, and reiterated to not deter from sacrificing for the solidarity and honour of Pakistan.