Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan is ready to counter any “reckless move” by its enemies as the country’s top civil and military leadership witnessed a military exercise close to the border with India.
The exercise, code-named “Raad-ul-Barq” (Strike of Thunder) and being held at Khairpur Tamiwali in Bahawalpur district, was aimed at showcasing the combat-readiness of Pakistani troops “against our enemy”, chief military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa tweeted.
Speaking at the conclusion of the drill, Sharif warned that any effort to harm Pakistan’s national security would be met with a “befitting response”. The premier and army chief Gen Raheel Sharif jointly inspected the exercise conducted by the army and air force.
“Exercise Raad-ul-Barq establishes that Pakistan is ready to confront any ambitious and reckless move by its enemies,” he said. These enemies had “made their intentions well-known” and “they cannot tolerate signs of development in this country, which is why Pakistan has become a victim of terrorism”, he added.
Sharif also referred to “Indian aggression” in Kashmir and said, “The brutal tactics used to curb recent spontaneous and indigenous movements in Jammu and Kashmir have been counter-productive.” The situation along the Line of Control remained sensitive because of “India’s grave violation of the ceasefire agreement”, he said.
He described Kashmir as the “core issue of contention between Pakistan and India” and said it must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and UN resolutions.
Sharif also referred to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has been opposed by India because it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and said Islamabad believes regional connectivity is vital for the uplift of millions of people in the region. He said the CPEC is on its way to becoming fully operational in the coming months.