COAS rubbishes Indian army chief’s claim of surgical strikes

Says CPEC to help tackle Balochistan’s security challenges

Staff Reporters

Rawalpindi/Khuzdar

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has rejected the claims made by Indian army chief that India carried out “surgical strikes” on Pakistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations spokesperson tweeted on Thursday.
ISPR chief Major-Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted that Gen Bajwa rejected the claim of India’s Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, who had said in a recent interview that the ‘so-called surgical strikes’ were meant to “send out a message”.
“Pakistan’s armed forces are fully geared to respond to any aggression by India,” Ghafoor quoted Bajwa as saying. The army chief also turned down the possibility of re-occurrence of any such attack, which the Indian army chief had hinted.
Earlier in the day, the Army Chief, addressing a gathering at Khuzdar Engineering University on Thursday, said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will help tackle security challenges and counter efforts to derail peace in Balochistan.
“I’m confident that the current security challenges and external efforts to derail peace will end with the growing realisation of geo-economic advantages of a fully developed China Pakistan Economic Corridor project and infrastructure projects all over Balochistan,” the COAS said.
The army chief, addressing a day-long national seminar titled, “Economic Development through new Silk Route via Khuzdar: Way forward to national integration,” said, “My hope rests with the highly patriotic youth of the province, and have no doubt that their future lies in a prosperous Balochistan.”
The commitment to peace and stability of the province to bring it at par with other developed parts of the country is unwavering, Gen Qamar added.
“I salute the determination and resilience of the people of Balochistan against the onslaught of terrorism by the enemies of peace and prosperity,” the Army Chief said. “I will develop every part of Balochistan, come what may.”
The COAS said 25,000 youths were receiving education at the Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps-run schools, colleges and cadet colleges in the province.
“We are also running a large number of hospitals and medical facilities in the far-flung areas (of Balochistan), which are providing quality healthcare.”
Gen Qamar was appointed as the 16th army chief of Pakistan Army on November 26. He replaced Gen Raheel Sharif.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the enemy wants to disturb peace in the province but all conspiracies and ill-attempts would be foiled.
He said that Balochistan was ‘heart’ of Pakistan whose development was linked with the development of the country. He said that around 25,000 soldiers were performing their duties in Pakistan Army while over 600 out of those are officers.
General Bajwa expressed happiness over mobilisation of Balochistan s youth for education and prosperity.
Moving forward, Gen Bajwa proposed that a “people-centric approach based on local ownership” should be adopted as far as securing the “ongoing developmental activity and future trade” in Balochistan under CPEC is concerned.
The “result” of the alliance has been “positive” and is “in front of everyone”, he added. Gen Bajwa further stated that one of the key aims of the army’s effort is “national integration”.
“Balochistan unfortunately had been neglected in the past for host of reasons, but not anymore. The military has contributed significantly to bring Balochistan into the main stream,” Bajwa said.

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