KARACHI: Embarking on a round of farewell visits to military formations, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif met officers and soldiers of the Karachi Corps on Monday and made it clear that change of command should not affect peace efforts as the results achieved during the Karachi operation “cannot be allowed to reverse”.
Excerpts of his speech to the officers and soldiers of the Corps V at the Corps Headquarters Karachi released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) hinted that the Karachi operation, which has been under way for the past more than three years, is not going to end any time soon as the efforts for “sustainable peace” will continue despite the change in the top military command expected next week.
“Any designs of enemies of Pakistan to keep the metropolitan on the boil have been blunted and the gains cannot be allowed to reverse,” the ISPR statement quoted the army chief as saying while addressing the officers and soldiers.
“Life has returned to Karachi and business activity has picked up with its huge contribution to revival of the national economy.”
Gen Sharif lauded the role of Karachi corps in improving security situation of the metropolis and other parts of Sindh, said the ISPR statement.The army chief also counted the role of provincial security apparatus and the law-enforcement agencies in the overall success. He said that their assistance in terms of capacity building from Pakistan army “must continue” in the future.
“Integrated with the provincial government, our efforts to help build the capacity of civil law enforcing institutions must continue for sustainable peace,” he said.
His resolve came days before his expected departure after addressing concerns of common Karachiites who had been shaky about the fate of the Rangers-led “targeted-operation”. During the operation, which was launched in September 2013, city’s security situation improved as peace was restored to residential and commercial areas after years of bloodshed on sectarian, ethnic and political basis.Gen Sharif also appreciated all the ranks for maintaining vigilance along the borders. Besides, he “specially” acknowledged the delivery of social services by the army and the Rangers to the residents of remote areas and desolate deserts of Sindh in disasters and crisis situations.
“The army chief exhorted all ranks to focus on their professional pursuits and keep the best soldiering traditions,” the ISPR statement said.
The army chief, the statement added, later also met business leaders and industrialists at the Corps Headquarters, where business community representatives thanked him for the restoration of peace to the city.