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September 7, 2018

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Not to be part of anyone else’s war: Imran

RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday made it clear that Pakistan will not fight anyone else’s war, nor will it become a part of it.

“Our foreign policy will be in the best interest of the nation and we will not fight anyone else’s war," he said while addressing a ceremony at the GHQ to pay homage to the martyrs. Imran rejected the impression of civil-military divide saying both were on the same page sharing the common goal on all national issues.

"I want to talk about a myth being created about the civil-military leadership. I want to tell you that both are on the same page having the common goal on issues facing the country," he added.

Appreciating the role of security forces and intelligence agencies in making the country safer against all threats, Imran said the way the forces fought against terrorism was unparalleled. "The way our armed forces fought against terrorism and our common enemy, I have reached a conclusion that the armed forces are the only institution which is intact and functioning only because of their professionalism, pursuit of merit and non-interference of politics,” he said.

The prime minister emphasised that Pakistan would rise, progress and become a great nation when the nation followed the principles implemented by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) in the state of Madina.

"We will become a great nation when we learn from the holy life of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)," he said, adding that the Holy Quran also exhorted Muslims to learn from the holy life of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

He said the dream of having a Madina-like state would materialise only when the poor and the weak also had access to education, health and justice. He said Pakistan was endowed with immense resources and rich with minerals, diverse topography and four seasons and the only need was to work honestly to realise the goal of making Pakistan a great country.

The graceful ceremony besides others was also attended by the next of kin and family members of martyrs, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, federal cabinet members, Chairman Joints Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Air Staff Mujahid Anwar Khan, political leaders including the opposition leader in the National Assembly Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari, parliamentarians, diplomats and others.

First Lady Bushra Bibi was present on the occasion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhda.

A smartly turned-out contingent of the Pakistan Army saluted the martyrs.

The prime minister paid rich tributes to the martyrs saying they sacrificed their today for the nation's tomorrow.

Imran said he was just 12 years of age in 1965 and wanted to volunteer as guard like other family members when there were rumours that the enemy would drop its paratroopers in Lahore.

"I might be a retired army officers had I not become a cricketer," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed maintained that continuation of democracy was must for development and progress of the country adding that no individual was above any institution and no institution was above the nation.

He said the country’s progress depended on continuation of democracy for which supremacy of the Constitution and institution was required.

He said the nation had already started a journey towards continuation of democracy 10 years back.

General Bajwa pointed out that presence of political leadership and guests from all schools of thought at the ceremony testified to the fact that they were committed and united for progress of the country.

"We are also facing a war against poverty, hunger and illiteracy, and to fight it national unity was required and everybody will have to think above themselves.”

The army chief said they would settle the score for the blood which was being shed on the borders adding that the war still ongoing.

"The war against terrorism is still ongoing and will continue till complete peace so that the enemy cannot cast an evil eye on our country and the nation," he said.

He said various lessons had been learnt from wars of 1965 and 1971 while strengthening the defence of the country and Pakistan also became a nuclear power.

However, he said a non-traditional war in the form of terrorism was imposed on the nation two decades ago and the enemy attempted to create terror and fear in the country.

"We have fought against this scourge while giving sacrifices in shape of 76,000 Shaheeds and injured which also include personnel of army, FC, police, civilians and others" he said.

Referring to observing September 6 as the Defence Day and Martyrs Day, the army chief said alive nations never forget their martyrs.

"Those who forget their martyrs cease to exist," he said, adding the day is being observed to express solidarity with families of Shuhada and remember their sacrifices.

He said the observance of September 6 was evident of the fact that the nation was united for the defence of the country.

He pointed out that September 6 was an important day in the country's history when the armed forces with support of the nation handed a heavy defeat to the enemy. "The day reminds us of many incidents of bravery and unity from which we still derive aspiration," he said.

On the occasion, some special documentaries were also shown on mega screens to remember the sacrifices of Shuhada, acts of bravery by armed forces personnel and officers in 1965 war and war against terrorism and progress towards peace.

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