RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Sunday, addressing a ceremony on Defence Day at the GHQ to honour the martyrs of the armed forces, said Pakistan Army is fully able to respond to attacks on a small or large scale, adding that the enemy will face heavy consequences in any case.
Gen Raheel said September 6 was an important day in Pakistan’s history, when it repulsed the enemy’s attack and inflicted heavy losses on it.
“I’m honored that soldiers from that war are present among us today.”
The army chief said in the past 50 years Pakistan has seen many ups and downs. “But I can say with certainty that today we are stronger than before and the nation is more hopeful than ever.”
Gen Raheel said Kashmir is an unresolved regional issue and for the past seven decades, the people of Kashmir have been facing Indian hostility and cruelty.
“There can be no peace in the region without resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the UN resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
The army chief said operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched at a time when terrorist networks had solidified in the country, adding that the armed forces had been fighting an “untraditional war” for the past many years.
“Our success is the result of our martyrs and ghazis.”
Genral Raheel said the Peshawar school massacre was the epitome of barbarity and praised the parents who had shown immense patience in the face of the tragedy.
“Their patience gave the nation a new motivation,” said Gen Raheel, adding that today most terrorists involved in the school attack had “met their faiths.”
“Today, armed forces and all security agencies are in control of the situation and the writ of the state has been fully established.”
Gen Raheel said the journey to success was a tough one. “Now all state institutions have to play their role so that all objectives of the National Action Plan (NAP) are achieved soon.”
He also paid tributes to Fata residents for their sacrifices, adding that IDPs’ return to their homes had already begun and the process will be further expedited.
The COAS also paid a rich tribute to the country’s media for unveiled the “true face of terrorists,” which he said was a key aspect of the war against militants.
The army chief reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers, sympathizers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs.
Karachi operation, Balochistan
Talking about the situation in Karachi and Balochistan, he said peace had returned in the areas after coordination between civil and military leaderships, adding that operations in both regions will be taken to logical conclusions.
The army chief said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was not only crucial for Pakistan, but would benefit the entire region. “Therefore its completion is a national duty and Pakistan Army will play its full role to that end.”
General Raheel also said Afghanistan and Pakistan were tied by blood, and the two countries had a deep rooted, historic relationship.
“We have taken sincere efforts for peace in Afghanistan. Some forces want to foil these efforts but we will never let them succeed.”
The COAS went on to say that Pakistan’s efforts against terror have been key for “regional and international peace,” adding that “we hope the international community will appreciate and support us in our struggle.”
In his concluding remarks, the army chief said he was proud to be the commander of the “best war force in the world.”
“This army has no match. We are capable to face all internal and external challenges, whether tradition or untraditional, hot start or cold start. We are ready.”
He assured the nation and the families of martyrs present on the occasion that the sacrifices of their loved ones would not go in vain.
The ceremony was attended by all service chiefs, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, opposition leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah, families of martyrs, and other civil and military dignitaries.
Earlier, anthems to honour the officers and men of the armed forces were played and families of the martyred soldiers were given the rostrum to express themselves on the occasion. Gen Raheel
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