TTP tried to destabilise Pakistan with help of India: Defence Minister 

SIALKOT: (APP) Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Saturday the defence of Pakistan was in safe hands and no one could dare to cast an evil eye on it.

Addressing the oath taking ceremony of newly elected office-bearers of Sialkot Press Club here, he said Pakistan would continue its efforts to establish a durable peace in Afghanistan. It had always desired to establish good relations with its neighbours, he added.

Khawaja Asif said the US drone attack was not the failure of Pakistan's foreign policy. However, it had affected the efforts underway for establishing peace in Afghanistan.

The minister said the top leaders of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had safe shelters in Afghanistan and everyone knew the fact but no international power, including the United States, was ready to take action against those places from where TTP leaders (including Mullah Fazalullah) were busy in hatching conspiracies to destbalise Pakistan with the help of India.

He asked both the US and Afghanistan to show their sincerity for establishing durable peace.

Khawaja Asif said Pakistan ever wanted to establish durable peace in Afghanistan but now both Afghanistan and the US should show their direly needed sincerity for this purpose.

Pakistan, he said, was keeping all options open over the US indecision over F-16 planes. He alleged that international powers, including US, were providing ammunition to India against Pakistan.

He said the prevailing security situation was improving day by day in the country. The security situation was now far better.

The minister said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made Pakistan a nuclear power ignoring the international pressure.

Despite internal and external threats, he said Pakistan had got several big successes against terrorism. The government was committed to weed out terrorism from the country and the Zarb-e-Azb operation would continue till the elimination of last terrorist, he vowed.

Khawaja Asif said India had not yet accepted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and it was trying to develop its commercial and diplomatic relations with others countries.

He said despite all the hurdles, the CPEC project was moving ahead towards its goal which would open new vistas of socio-economic and human development in Pakistan.

He said now the Panama Papers Leaks was the issue of a few elements, it was not an issue of the Pakistani nation. Some political elements were raising the issue for their personal and political gains.

The minister said there was a dire need of early establishment of a full-fledged independent powerful institution for conducting the accountability of everyone without any indiscrimination as well.

Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Khawaja Muhammad Asif fully supported the Sialkot journalists' demand of early establishment of Journalists' Colony in Sialkot. He assured to discuss the issue with Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

Khawaja Asif urged the newsmen to play their pivotal role in promoting the soft image of Pakistan globally.

The minister diclosed that the formal inauguration of grand project of Sialkot -Lahore Motorway would be held on 10th of Ramzanul Mubarak.

Local MPAs Rana Liaqat Ali, Ch. Muhammad Ikram, Tariq Subhani,

Zulfiqar Ghauri, Sialkot DCO Dr. Asif Tufail, DPO Sialkot Dr. Muhammad Abid Khan, President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Maj(Rtd) Mansur Ahmed, Chairman Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Malik Muhammad Ashraf, President Markazi Anjuman Tajraan Sialkot Mehar Ghulam Mujtaba and notables also attended the ceremony.