Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif pays tribute to armed forces

Islamabad: In his Independence Day address Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tributes to the security forces fighting militants in restive North Waziristan tribal region.

The prime minister’s speech marked the official beginning of Pakistan’s 68th Independence Day celebrations across the country, Xinhua reported.

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“The armed forces have started a decisive operation in North Waziristan tribal region against the terrorists which is progressing well,” Nawaz Sharif told a military parade outside the parliament house.

A special parade of armed forces and a fly past ceremony were held on the occasion.

The ceremony was attended by services chiefs, foreign ambassadors, members of parliament along with other key personalities of the country.

Sharif paid homage to the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for Pakistan in the North Waziristan operation named “Zarb-i-Azb”.

Sharif said his government will provide all resources to the security forces in their fight against terror.

Over 700 militants have been killed in the operation since its start June 15.

As many as 40 soldiers have died so far, the army said.

The army operation was launched following a brazen Taliban terror attack on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport June 8.

Nearly 1 million people from North Waziristan have been displaced so far in the operation, according to figures released by the FATA Disaster Management Authority.