ADDRESSING a graduation ceremony at the PAF Academy Asghar Khan, Risalpur, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Pakistan stands firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. He said Pakistan is a peace loving country that rendered great sacrifices for regional and global peace adding it is time to extend hand of peace in all directions.
Indeed the entire nation is proud of its defence forces for what they have done to save the country from all sorts of dangers and conspiracies. Pakistan’s role in maintaining peace at home and abroad has been pivotal. The country went through the worst phase during the war on terror. Thousands of soldiers were martyred whilst the loss to the economy is in billions of dollars. But our successive governments and the security forces remained steadfast to totally eliminate the menace. As a result of this, peace largely stands restored in most parts of the country. Then in Afghanistan, Pakistan has played a leading role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and bringing the stakeholders to the table of negotiations. This is something that is also recognized by the world community including the United States.
Even whilst dealing with India, Pakistan has exercised utmost restraint. Modi’s belligerence was responded with maturity and wisdom to save the region from another conflict. But as also very rightly stated by the Army Chief, nobody will be allowed to misinterpret the desire for peace as a sign of weakness. We have no doubt in the capabilities of our defence forces and the manifestation of it was itself seen by the enemy during a dogfight about two years ago when our fighter pilots shot down two Indian aircraft. Though nothing good can be expected from Modi, yet it will be better for him to shun the course of confrontation and rather move towards resolution of outstanding disputes such as Kashmir through dialogue. Better relations between Pakistan and India are in the interest of the whole region. It will also provide them the space to spend more resources on the welfare of their peoples rather than the purchase of defence equipment.