ISLAMABAD, April 13 (Xinhua)-- Pakistan Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, has assured a complete security mechanism for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which he termed as a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its underprivileged areas and populace.
Speaking at a largely-attended seminar in the port city of Gwadar in southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday, he said that the CPEC, besides being at the core of the national resolve, is a reflection of Pakistan-China friendship that will be truly realized.
"As the chief of Army Staff, I assure you that security of CPEC is our national undertaking and we will not leave any stone unturned. We will continue to keep a close watch at its every step," he said.
He informed the participants of the seminar on the "Development of Balochistan and Economic Corridor in Gwadar"that a 15,000-strong dedicated force is already in place under the ambit of Special Security Division for the CPEC.
"This year, we will move cargo from heartland China to Gwadar and beyond, fulfilling our dream,"General Raheel said.
The seminar was attended by a large number of diplomats, MPs, political leaders, analysts and media persons to discuss the CPEC role in the development of Pakistan.
"CPEC is the grand manifestation of the deep-rooted ties between China and Pakistan. Much larger than its bilateral benefits, CPEC is indeed a corridor of peace & prosperity, not only for the people of Pakistan & China but also for the region and beyond. It will bind all these nations together and bring about an economic transformation through enhanced connectivity,"the Pakistan army chief said.
"I have no doubt in my mind that, Gwadar is set to become a port, worthy of its geo-political significance, transforming our beloved Pakistan into a prosperous state.
Describing CPEC is a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its underprivileged areas and populace, he assured the people of Balochistan that they will benefit the most from the fruits of this project.
Talking about the military operation against the armed groups, he said the operation codenamed "Zarb-e-Azb" is in progress and that the security forces are in the final stages of the military operation in the tribal regions.
"Having passed through tough fight against terrorism, we have now come a long way in our struggle for stability and development," the army chief said.