RAWALPINDI: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, expressed his firm belief that the route to peaceful resolution of Pakistan-India disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, ran through a comprehensive and meaningful dialogue on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour.
Addressing the passing out parade of 137th PMA Long Course, 8th Mujahid Course and 56th Integrated Course at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul on Saturday, he also expressed full political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the peace-loving people of the Indian Held Kashmir who are being subjected to one of the worst forms of state terrorism.
“It is high time for the international community to wake up and play its positive role in bringing peace to that unfortunate part of the sub-continent,” General Bajwa said. He said while such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remained 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, he reiterated.
As many as 31 cadets from Fata, 67 cadets from Balochistan and six allied cadets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were among the passing out cadets. General Qamar Javed Bajwa was chief guest on the occasion. He reviewed the parade and gave awards to the distinguished cadets. The coveted Sword of Honour was awarded to Academy Senior under Officer Syed Hasnain Ali. The President’s Gold Medal went to Battalion Senior under Officer Abdul Wahab Malik, and the Overseas Gold Medal to Academy under Officer Saud from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Major General Akhtar Nawaz Satti, Commandant Pakistan Military Academy, and a large number of senior serving and retired armed forces personnel, parents and relatives of the passing out cadets witnessed the event.
General Bajwa reiterated that the nation and its armed forces are united and focused on their primary objective of eradication and elimination of terrorism. He said Pakistan has eliminated almost all the organised terrorist presence and infrastructure from its soil through the past and ongoing operations. “We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under Operation Raddul Fasaad,” he said.
“In all humility, let me say the Operation Raddul Fasaad is not merely an operation, it is a concept, a resolve and a commitment of the nation to eradicate tumult from its soil. The Operation Raddul 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,” General Bajwa maintained.
General Bajwa said: “As army chief I am very happy to see the progress that we have made so far. Let me acknowledge that such progress would not have been possible without the willing sacrifices and matchless courage of our people in general and the Pashtun tribesmen of the KP and Fata in particular. I salute their courage and sacrifice,” he said. He said Pakistan is a peace-loving country seeking a harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, especially its neighbours. He maintained the desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness. “Our valiant armed forces are Alhamdolillah fully prepared to respond to the full spectrum of threat in a befitting manner,” he said.
He told the cadets that enemies could not beat Pakistanis fair and square and have thus subjected us to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war and they were trying to weaken the nation’s resolve by weakening it from within. “Had it been any nation other than us, it would have disintegrated by now. 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,” he said.
Conveying his heartiest felicitations to the cadets and proud parents, he noted there are cadets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who have earned their well-deserved commission. He also reminded the cadets that learning is a continuous process and the modern warfare is an exceedingly vast and complex domain which demanded thorough knowledge and ingenuity. He observed that as officers in the army, the cadets will lead some of the finest and most motivated soldiers in the world. “Set personal examples and always lead from the front. Please remember, the officer corps never says ‘Advance’, they always say ‘Follow Me,’” he said.
General Bajwa maintained that Pakistan has totally rejected extremism and terrorism and the nation has also refused to be pulled asunder on issues of sect, ethnicity, caste or creed. “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,” he observed.
In this regard, the COAS said the Pakistan Army is fully cognizant of its national responsibilities and the passing out of 67 cadets from Balochistan and 31 from Fata is a true reflection of those responsibilities. He said Pakistan is also committed to peace and intra-Afghan reconciliation efforts at all bilateral and multilateral forums expressing the belief 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.
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,” the army chief said. He said the Pakistan armed forces are the custodians and upholders of this resolve that is evident in the sacrifices of our young men and officers. He called upon all the stakeholders within the region and beyond to give peace a chance.
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