Lauds large number of cadets from Balochistan, FATA
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that “comprehensive and meaningful” dialogue with India remains the route to restoring peace in the region but stressed that any bilateral talks with the neighbours can only be held “on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour”.
Speaking at the passing out parade of the 137th PMA Long Course, 8th Mujahid Course and 56th Integrated Course, the army chief once again offered his support to the embattled people of Indian-held Kashmir, where a surge in violence has seen more than 100 people killed just this year.
“I take this opportunity to express our complete political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” he said. “Those peace-loving innocent citizens are being subjected to one of the worst form of state terrorism. It is high time for the world community to wake up and play a positive role in bringing peace to that unfortunate part of the sub-continent.”
The army chief reiterated that lasting peace in the region can be achieved through dialogue, saying: “It is our sincere belief that the route to peaceful resolution of Pak-India disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, runs through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue.
“While such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remains the inevitable precursor to peace across the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour.”
Gen Bajwa said that even though “Pakistan seeks harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries…this desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness.”
“Our valiant armed forces are fully prepared to respond across the full spectrum of threat in a befitting manner,” he added.
The army chief expressed his desire to see a more stable Afghanistan, saying that Pakistan is fully committed to helping the Afghan government in restoring peace.
“We are also committed to peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan at all bilateral and multilateral forums,” he said. “We sincerely believe that there will be no peace in Pakistan, if there is no peace in Afghanistan. Our peace is linked, therefore, we must work in unison with our Afghan brothers to achieve this goal.” The Chief of Army Staff highlighted’s Pakistan’s shunning of extremism and victories over terrorism. “Pakistan has eliminated almost all organised terrorist presence and infrastructure from its soil,” he said. “We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under the banner of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
“We have done our part to cleanse Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism and extremism without any distinction and our efforts have started to bear results. We are committed to continue these efforts, not out of any compulsion, but to make Pakistan a safe, prosperous and progressive country.”
“Pakistan Army is fully cognisant of its national responsibilities,” Gen Qamar said. “Today’s passing out is therefore, a true reflection of that responsibility, when we commission 67 cadets from Balochistan and 31 from FATA.”
“We refuse to be pulled asunder on issues of sect, ethnicity, caste or creed,” the COAS said. “The diversity of Pakistan is our strength. The very resilience of Pakistan comes, not just from our military capacity, but from the synergetic mix of a people who have come together, willingly towards a single purpose.”
“In this parade, we also have cadets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who have earned their well-deserved commission today,” Gen Qamar said. “I extend my heartiest felicitations to these cadets and wish them all the success for their future assignments.”
Addressing the cadets, COAS said, “you are being commissioned in Pakistan Army at a time when Pakistan is facing enormous challenges both in conventional and sub-conventional domains.”
“You will be operating in a high tech battlefield environment, involving inventions and innovations offered by science and technology.”
“The future wars and challenges will put your abilities to test in upholding and carrying forward the fine traditions of this great institution to the hilt. I have full confidence that you will stand the test of times.”
On the challenges the country is facing, Gen Qamar said, “our enemies know, that they cannot beat us fair and square and have thus subjected us to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war. They are trying to weaken our resolve by weakening us from within.” Had it been any nation than ours, it would have disintegrated by now, he added.
“But since we enjoy complete confidence and support of our nation, we have defeated every move of these inimical forces and will Insha Allah, continue to do so.” Gen Qamar reiterated that the nation and its Armed Forces are totally united and focused towards our primary objective, that is, eradication and elimination of terrorism.
As a result of past and ongoing operations, he added, Pakistan has eliminated almost all organized terrorist presence and infrastructure from its soil. “We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under the banner of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.”
“In all humility, let me say that Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is not merely an operation; it is a concept, a resolve and a commitment of the nation to eradicate tumult from its soil.”
“Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is guided by our collective resolve and belief that we will neither tire nor relent until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil. Moreover, we are committed not to allow our soil to be used against any other country.”
“As the Army chief, I am very happy to see the progress that we have made so far,” Gen Qamar said. “Let me acknowledge that such progress would not have been possible without the willing sacrifices and matchless courage of our people in general and Pashtun tribesmen of KPK and FATA in particular. I salute their courage and sacrifice.”
Pakistan, he maintained, is a peace-loving country and seeks harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, especially its neighbours.