ISLAMABAD: Terming India’s ‘surgical strike’ a drama, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif said If Pakistan were to conduct such a strike it would become a chapter in Indian textbooks. Addressing army and Frontier Corps officers and jawans in Wana South Waziristan Agency, the army chief highly commended security forces for successfully wiping out terrorists from their sanctuaries in Fata and destroying their hideouts. According to the Inter Service Public Relations, the army chief said, “We have completed the cycle of counter-terrorism operations in a unique and comprehensive way with the support of the nation,” the army chief said. Later, the army chief visited Khyber Agency and held a jirga in Bara. He thanked the tribals for rendering full support to the army in cleansing their areas of terrorists and praised them for their audacity and steadfastness.
He said, “We have fought this menace of terrorism together over the years and it has woven us eternally in an unbreakable bond”. The army chief said the Pakistan Army was “the strongest force against terrorism”. “They have eliminated terrorism from Pakistan’s tribal areas,” he said. “I kept the morale of Pakistan Army up in my time, but I will hand over the reigns to the next chief on Nov 29,” he told members of the jirga. “I hope that the relationship between the army and the nation will continue, even after I say goodbye to the Pakistan Army,” he said. Talking about his post-retirement plans, he said he would like to dedicate his life for the welfare of the families of slain soldiers. The COAS is set to retire on Nov 29 and is spending his last week as army chief on farewell visits around the country. Gen Sharif also laid the foundation stone of Shahid Afridi Cricket Stadium at Bara, to be built by army engineers. The stadium has been named after the renowned cricketer to honour him for his services to Pakistan and being built as part of sports infrastructure to explore talent and harness youth from Fata. The tribal elders paid their gratitude to Gen Sharif for army’s extra efforts in ensuring dignified return and quality reconstruction in the entire Fata. On arrival at Wana, Corps Commander Peshawar Let-Gen Hidayatur Rehman received the army chief.