Karachi: Apparently targeting India, Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday said "foreign forces" are trying to destabilise this country and its crucial economic corridor with China.
Speaking at a seminar on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the coastal town of Gwadar, he said India had openly opposed the USD 46 billion project.
"The CPEC is a deep manifestation of the time-tested relations between China and Pakistan. But there are foreign forces who, realizing the potential of CPEC and wanting an influential role in the region, are working to destabilise Pakistan and the project," he said.
The Army Chief said hostile intelligence agencies are averse to the CPEC but "we will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan".
Describing the project as "a corridor of peace and prosperity", he said that CPEC is a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its underprivileged areas and populace.
However, there were "external intelligence agencies who are involved in facilitating terrorists, their abettors and financiers in Pakistan in a bid to subvert the economic corridor project," he said.
He said he had told the international community to not just acknowledge the contribution of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism but to stop external forces from helping facilitators and abettors of terrorism in Pakistan.
He said work on the CPEC was progressing at a fast pace and already 675 kilometres of roads had been completed in just two years' time.
"Transparency and good management is important for sustainability of the CPEC which will eventually benefit the people of Baluchistan and Pakistan," he said.
Talking about operation Zarb-e-Azab, General Sharif said it was not only an operation but an ideology, ideology against terrorists, extremists and corruption.
"Zarb-e-Azab is in the final stages in the tribal areas. Zarb-e-Azab is not just an operation but a wholesome ideology," he said.