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May 7, 2017

UK military commander says Pak gains against terror ‘breathtaking’

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May 7, 2017

LONDON: A senior British military commander has said that Pakistan army has made “breathtaking” gains against terrorists and extremists in tribal areas – unmatched in over 150 years – and deserves credit for that.

Commander Field Army Lieutenant-General Patrick Nicholas Sanders was addressing at an event organised at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in celebration of the 70th Independence anniversary of Pakistan, organised by World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP) in collaboration with High Commission of Pakistan and Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFoP). Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas, Bestway Group’s Chief Executive Zameer Chaudhry and WCOP’s Syed Qamar Raza also spoke on the occasion.

Lieutenant-General Patrick Sanders said, “Pakistan army has done more than anyone to combat extremism and terrorism and the achievements are extraordinary.”

Lieutenant-General Patrick Sanders, who visited Pakistan recently, said the success Pakistan had in Waziristan and Fata was the “most extraordinary” by all standards and “it has been the most successful operation in that area for over 150 years”. He said that Britain has played its part in helping Pakistan combat terrorism by supporting Pakistan Army. He said: “Our relationship is very close and the role Pakistan army plays is very important in the region.”

Major General Muhammad Amir, of GOC 10th Division, especially arrived from Pakistan to take part in this event. Addressing to a select group of audience on the occasion, he said that Pakistan military valued its close ties with British military and the two armies worked together to combat joint threats. He said that extremists using hideouts in Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan but Pakistan is determined to deal with the challenge of terrorism by managing border with Afghanistan.

“The western zone is being stabilised through improving border management with Afghanistan, triggering huge socio economic activities, improving communication infrastructure and health sector, adding quality schools and colleges and nurturing gainful youth. Selective intelligence based operations in hinterland are helping in a big way in getting rid of trouble makers and unhindered movement of explosives and weapons, making our country safe every day.”

Major General Amir said, “Pakistan is heading in right direction, our national trajectory to stability, security and prosperity is correct. The important role of our countrymen living overseas cannot be overstated.”

He told the audience that Pakistan had sacrificed alone more than all nations combined. “We have faced an onslaught of death and destruction with resilience and courage and as a state and society. We have turned the tide beating all forces of evil, who are now on the run for their life. The writ of state has now been established in every inch of our territory. This all has come with a price. Over 42k civilians and 22k brave soldiers have been martyred and injured.”

Zameer Chaudhry called on British Pakistanis to consider joining British armed forces. He said that cooperation between Pakistan and the UK armed forces is essential for peace and stability in the region.

He said that Pakistanis had played a historic role in standing up for Britain through a world war and proved that they believe in the shared values of democracy and freedom. He hoped that cultural, defence and trade between the two countries will improve in the future.

Syeda Qamar Raza said that British Pakistanis were no more migrants to Britain. “We are part and parcel of this society, we are here to stay, and our third generation is growing up in this country. We are campaigning for our youth to join British Army and become part of the British defence. He said that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his recent visit to the UK agreed to send Major General Muhammad Amir for this event.

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