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President underlines need to keep unity and discipline in ranks: Adherence to Constitution imperative, says COAS

The COAS addressed an impressive ceremony on the Defence and Martyrs Day at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada, GHQ.

September 07, 2021

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said that Pakistan’s strength and security were embedded in democracy and to make the country more stable, everybody would have to follow the principles of the Constitution, justice, tolerance and equality. “Negative attitudes like criticism for the sake of criticism, hatred and intolerance should be discouraged,” the COAS, while addressing an impressive ceremony in connection with the Defence and Martyrs Day here at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada, GHQ, said.

Highlighting the importance of public support in military operations, the chief of the army staff said without the people's cooperation, any army would prove to be a wall of sand "like we saw in our neighbouring country". He said the army-nation's relation was a shield against enemy.

President Arif Alvi, who attended the event as the chief guest, in his address paid rich tributes to martyrs, Ghazis and their relatives for their unprecedented sacrifices for the country. President Alvi, accompanied by the COAS, also laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada.

The event was also attended by members of the federal cabinet, parliamentarians, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, services chiefs, diplomats, relatives of martyrs and Ghazis. The army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, said that Pakistan's armed forces had all required capabilities to fight all external and internal threats, and traditional and non-traditional wars. "If any enemy wants to fight us, it will find us ready at every moment and on every front."

He noted that Pakistani armed forces were counted among the world's best. "We have fought every enemy courageously and defeated all external and internal plots and above all, by achieving self-sustainability in defence capabilities, made the country's defence impregnable."

"We have no doubt that the relationship between the Pakistan Army and the nation is the strong shield that has always defeated the enemy's plots and back-handed tactics against Pakistan and this unity has always made us persevere."

The COAS, while referring to the fifth generation war, said instead of large-scale war, ways of communication and other methods are used to weaken a nation’s unity and ideological boundaries and for creating chaos and demoralizing people adding that Pakistan’s enemy was also using non-traditional means, including propaganda and disinformation to achieve their nefarious designs.

He said that the purpose of the tactic, which is called hybrid or fifth generation war in common language, is to damage unity in the country to make its roots hollow. “In such a complex situation, there is a need to further strengthen the relationship of mutual trust, love and fraternity between the armed forces and the nation,” he observed and maintained that InshAllah, they would never let negative objectives of enemies fulfilled.

Turning to the regional situation, the COAS said the armed forces were keeping a keen eye on developments in Afghanistan observing that the situation provided an opportunity to see peace and stability in the country. “We desire peace, security and progress of neighbouring Afghanistan and also expect the big powers in the region and the world and the United Nations to play a positive role to achieve this objective,” he said.

General Bajwa aid that Pakistan also expected a stable and inclusive government in Afghanistan, respect of human rights, including women's rights, and that the Afghan land was not used against any other country. "We also expect that the world will not leave the Afghan nation alone in their difficult times,” he said.

Talking about the situation on eastern borders, the COAS pointed out many critical moments came, particularly after 2019, but Pakistan always showed it was a peace-loving and responsible state. “Our desire for peace should not be misconstrued as its weakness. We have the capability to give a befitting response to any misadventure and threat,” he said. He reiterated that in Pak-India relations, it is Kashmir which has the central importance.

He maintained that everyone should be aware of the reality that there was no more room for any kind of extremism or violence in the country and no individual or group aside from the armed forces and law enforcement agencies would be allowed to display weapons or use them. "If Pakistan has to progress, we will have to bury our ego and self-interest. According to US President John F Kennedy, do not ask what the country can do for you, say what you can do for the country,” he said.

He also maintained that no individual or group would be allowed to blackmail the state on the basis of regionalism, ethnicity, ideology or religion. “I call upon the nation to make Pakistan progressive, peaceful and modern Islamic welfare state,” he said.

In such a "difficult and complex" situation, he said, there was a need to further strengthen the relationship of mutual trust, love and fraternity between the Pakistan armed forces and the nation.

General Bajwa said that Pakistan’s armed forces were equipped with all the capabilities to fight all external and internal threats and conventional and non conventional wars. “If any enemy desires to fight us, we are ready at every moment and on every front,” the COAS maintained.

He said that Pakistan’s armed forces were among the world’s best forces as they have fought all kinds of enemies bravely and defeated external and internal threats. “Above all, we achieved self sustainability in defence capabilities making the country’s defence strong,” he said.

Considering the needs of the 21st Century, Gen Bajwa said, "We should work along the lines of people's progress and happiness, regional cooperation and acquiring modern technology instead of the negative traditional geopolitical thought against each other."

"I believe that education, health, infrastructure development, population control and climate change should be our priorities," he added.

The army chief maintained that Pakistan would continue its diplomatic, moral and political support to the Kashmiri people, who were struggling for their right to self-determination. He also paid tributes to late Syed Ali Geelani for his life-long struggle for the just cause of Kashmir.

Speaking at the main ceremony of the Defence and Martyrs Day at the General Headquarters here, President, Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan completely rejects the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India, including all of its illegal steps, particularly the measure of August 5, 2019 as it was blatant violation of the United Nation's resolutions on the Kashmir issue.

He said, “India should know that the desire for freedom cannot be suppressed for long with the use of force and black laws. “I want to make it clear that secret of this region’s progress and growth is linked to the just resolution of the Kashmir issue.”

The president said September 6 was not only a day in our national history because it was symbolic of our national unity, courage and sacrifice.

The day reminded as to how 56 years back, the whole nation stood as a fortified wall against an undeclared war and the nefarious designs of the enemy, he added. He said the jawans of army, navy and air force had always defended the freedom and security of Pakistan with their blood. “Their sacrifices of lives not only protected the future of our coming generations but made the nation proud for all times to come."

India waged a conventional war against Pakistan and then targeted it through acts of terrorism. On other occasions, India tried different economic and diplomatic tactics, he noted. He said despite all the efforts of Pakistan for peace, it faced issues in living with peace, dignity and honour, with its neighbour. President Alvi said time had come to accept the realities and a just solution of issues should be found as in it lies the security, progress and welfare of people of the two countries.

The president stressed that Pakistan desired peace in the region and added Pakistan was keeping a close eye on the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan always played an important role for peace in Afghanistan, he remarked. “Even today Pakistan is part of the efforts to keep peace in Afghanistan."

Dr Alvi said the armed forces of Pakistan were prepared for meeting challenges of the changing times. Pakistan had increased capacity of its defence production and moved towards self-reliance in defence equipment by manufacturing JF-17 aircraft, Al-Khalid tank and navy’s ships. He underlined the need to keep unity and discipline in the nation’s ranks and urged people to counter propaganda, disinformation and fake news.

At the end, the president paid tributes to the great sacrifices of the martyrs, Ghazis and their families. “I have remained in touch with the families of the martyrs and talked to parents and loved ones of Sepoy Jamal, Sepoy Ayaz, Captain Basit Ali, Captain Affan Masood and Captain Kashif. We are safe because of the sacrifices of the martyrs and peace of the country is because of their sacrifices,” he added.