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December 23, 2018

Hardly out of terror tentacles, faced with misguided mindset: COAS

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December 23, 2018

KARACHI: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday that while Pakistan is yet to fully come out of the terrorism or the sabotage phase of an unannounced war, the subversion phase has also started now.

“Like the terrorists before; the protagonists of the new threats are at times, our own people. Mostly misguided by ambitions, blinded by hate, ethnicity or religion or simply overawed by social media onslaught, some of our own boys and girls readily fall victim to such dangerous or hostile narratives,” General Bajwa said while speaking at the passing out parade of 110th Midshipmen and 19th Short Service Course held at the Naval Academy, Karachi.

According to the ISPR, the army chief said the new government has extended a hand of peace and friendship towards India with utmost sincerity but it should not be taken as its weakness. “The new government has extended a hand of peace and friendship towards India with utmost sincerity but it should not be taken as our weakness, peace benefits everybody. It is time to fight against hunger, disease and illiteracy, rather than to fight with each other.”

The COAS said Pakistan supports Afghan-led peace plan to help bring lasting peace in the neighbouring country. He said wars bring death, destruction and misery for the people. Ultimately, he said, all issues are resolved on the table through negotiations. He said the relative peace present in the country today was achieved after tremendous sacrifices to restore peace and order. “Our armed forces and law enforcement agencies have rendered tremendous sacrifices to restore peace and order, paying the ultimate price with their blood. It is now our duty to honour their sacrifice through display of unity, faith and discipline in everything that we do. Let us all start the transition from conflict to progress, through commitment to the ideals of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam. This is the minimum that we can do for our beautiful country,” he said.

The army chief said the country’s young cadets should take the country along the lines of developmental perspective than a security perspective. “Survival in the difficult times has given us the confidence that we have the will and capacity to endure. Nobody can threaten us or our freedom. It is time we fulfil our dreams and make Pakistan a great country,” he said, adding: "Pakistan has survived the earth shattering events of 1971, 79 and 2001. We are here and we will remain here, Inshallah. This is the time for our new generation to shine and blossom.” Gen Bajwa said the response to onslaughts or threats cannot always be kinetic in nature. “You will have to deal with them in cognitive domain by producing or propagating a superior narrative, but this can only happen if you have developed the ability to handle unwarranted criticism with patience and possess better intellectual skills to respond to such threats with logic and reasoning,” he said. The COAS said the modern technology has transformed the nature of warfare and has tilted the balance squarely, in favour of those nations that have embraced the change readily. “It is therefore incumbent upon you to keep yourself abreast with the latest developments in the field of science, technology and warfare.

But frankly speaking, even that will not be sufficient as the ever increasing threat of hybrid war, to which we are subjected to, will need a totally new approach and change of traditional mindset,” he said. “Therefore, you have to prepare and enable yourself to read the environment, gauge the enemies latest moves and be ready to respond, even when a surgical strike exists only in cognitive domain or media or even when the attack comes, not in the battlefield but in cyber space, or against country’s ideological frontiers,” he added.

The army chief told the cadets that their conduct, professionalism and every action will be watched closely and is emulated. “Your behaviour and dealings must, therefore, be exemplary at all times and a model for those whom you lead. This is particularly apt in the era of social media, where a single indiscretion or lapse of judgment can create huge embarrassment for you and your unit,” he reminded.

The COAS reviewed the parade and gave away prizes to the distinguished performers. The prestigious Quaid-i-Azam Gold Medal was conferred upon Lieutenant Haris Ali Khan, PN. Midshipman Tauqeer Hussain was awarded the coveted Sword of Honour for his overall best performance, whereas Midshipman Haroon Khan won the Academy's Dirk. Officer Cadet Muhammad Talha Masood was awarded the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal, Officer Cadet Ahmed Mohammed Alamri from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earned the Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal and Officer Cadet Ahmed Naveed Malik from SSC Course clinched the Commandant Gold Medal. The Proficiency Banner was re-claimed by the Forecastle Squadron.

The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, former naval chiefs, large number of serving and retired officers and families of the passing out officers witnessed the parade. -- Agencies

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