Pak army chief says ready to pay any price for Kashmir

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jun 14, 2015 00:56 IST

Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif upped the ante on Saturday, saying his force is ready to "pay any price" for the Kashmir issue or economic projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The remarks came two days after a meeting of Pakistan's top military commanders chaired by Sharif had reacted strongly to India's rare cross-border raid against militant groups in Myanmar.

Addressing a passing out parade at the Pakistan Naval Academy, Sharif said his force is ready to "pay any price to protect our nationhood, safeguard interest, be it Kashmir, development of new ports, exploitation of natural resources", according to an official statement from the military's media arm.

Sharif, considered a hardliner, launched a veiled attack on India, claiming that the international community backed Pakistan's concerns about its neighbour.

Without naming India, he said: "Entire world endorses our security concern. Ceasefire violation, blood letting in Baluchistan, FATA, Karachi manifest enemy hostile intent."

Sharif said Pakistan had "shown willingness to cooperate with other nations for peace but not at expense of our national interests, sovereign rights (and) national pride".

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said, holds "enormous potential for transforming lives of the region's people" and Islamabad is "acutely aware of enemy campaigns (and) will defeat designs against it".

The economic corridor, with Gwadar port as its catalyst, will be built and developed as "one of most strategic deep sea ports in the region at any cost whatsoever", he added.

India has opposed the economic Corridor because it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and officials have quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying it is "unacceptable".

Sharif also reiterated Pakistan's resolve to eliminate terror and said Operation Zarb-e-Azb is delivering decisive results.

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