Nawaz vows to continue Karachi Operation, enhance capabilities of PAF

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Karachi Operation will be continued till its goals are achieved. “The operation was started in 2013 but it should have been started eight years ago,” he said.

While heading a high level official meeting regarding peace and stability the PM said Karachi Operation was started with consent of all political parties. “The operation has been conducted totally on non-political grounds,” he added.

Sharif said peace and stability in Karachi is the main target of operation. “Target killing was common and investors were not ready to come to the city,” he stated. “Now investors and traders have started to come to Karachi again,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was a key element in the counter-terrorism and lauded the role of its airmen and women in Zarb-e-Azb military operation and other campaigns against terrorists.

Addressing at the firepower demonstration by PAF fighter aircraft at Somiani range near Karachi, the prime minister expressed satisfaction that the air force was working in close coordination with the Pakistan Army, which was deployed in some of the most challenging terrains for a modern battlefield.

He said that the threats faced by Pakistan were not traditional. However, he said the defence forces were ever-ready and well-trained to handle challenges and protect the national sovereignty. He said that the world acknowledged the contribution of Pakistan towards maintaining peace and appreciated its consistency in domestic and foreign policy.

“Our national resolve and commitment to eliminate the menace of terrorism has earned us a sound repute and respect in international society,” he said. He also said that he was immensely pleased to witness the impressive firepower demonstration by the fighter pilots. The event was a reflection of PAF’s combat fighting, readiness and dedicated teamwork by all ranks, he said.

The prime minister extended felicitations to the chief of the air staff for successful completion of the inter-squadron competition, in which the PAF fighter squadrons demonstrated their excellence in weapon delivery standards. He said that the history of the Pakistan Air Force was replete with examples of valour by the personnel who sacrificed their lives to defend the aerial frontiers.

He said the unmatched courage and heroism of the PAF’s air warriors had always made the nation proud. “Today’s demonstration showed the same level of dedication and selflessness that was once demonstrated by valiant men like MM Alam and others,” he said. He termed the personnel of PAF as the true custodians of the legacy of unmatched courage and unwavering commitment and said their sacrifices for the future of nation were truly acknowledged.

Nawaz Sharif said despite many external and internal challenges, Pakistan was steadily gaining strength and sailing through difficult times. “Pakistan will soon emerge as a strong and prosperous nation in the region,” he said. He said that the significance of air power and its role in attaining strategic objectives had increased manifold in current times.

He expressed satisfaction that PAF was fast modernising itself by undertaking many foreign and indigenous initiatives, the foremost among the JF-17 Thunder which termed as a project of national pride. He said that the government would extend full cooperation to enhance PAF’s capabilities and expressed the hope that PAF would continue to strive for excellence to maintain its glorious traditions of valour.

Earlier, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman in his address said the unique event of firepower was an opportunity for the PAF fighters to exhibit their skills in using air-to-ground weapons with precision. Air Vice Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said firepower involved the PAF’s range of potential weapons and played pivotal role in training of pilots.

He mentioned that 17 JF-Thunder aircraft were fully operational with the PAF. Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and officials of PAF were also present. The parents of Pakistan’s first woman pilot Mariam Mukhtar, who recently died in an air crash, also attended the ceremony.

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