QUETTA: Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani Friday said that Pakistan’s defence lies in a strong and prosperous Balochistan.
“It is not just coincidence that I’m celebrating the National Defence Day in the Sui town of Balochistan, but it is a matter of importance and honour which the Army keeps for Balochistan,” he said during a passing out parade of cadets in the Military College Sui (MCS) here.
General Kayani dispelled the impression about the military operation in the province and said: “There is not a single Army personnel involved in any operation in Balochistan.”
He said that a thriving and strong Balochistan would guarantee the prosperity of the country, adding that all assistance would be provided to the provincial government in order to achieve the goals of socio-economic development and peace in the province.
Pakistan Army is fully committed to extend all possible assistance to the provincial government to eradicate poverty and control lawlessness, he said.
He recalled that as part of Army's steps for engaging youth of the province, a large number of Baloch youngsters have been recruited in the armed forces.
“The ratio of recruitment from Balochistan in Army has been 1.7 in 2007,” he said and added that it has been enhanced to 3.5 with the recruitment of some 12,000 soldiers and officials in Army since 2010.
Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on the occasion said that though it was passing through a critical juncture in time, it was the government’s resolve to steer the province out of the crises.
“I appeal to all warring tribes and disgruntled Baloch who left Dera Bugti to set aside their differences and play their role for the development of the province,” he emphasised.
Stressing the need for imparting quality education to the youth, Dr Malik said that the only key to success and way out of issues faced by the people of the province was providing them pen instead of weapons.
He announced grants of Rs 10 million each for Military College Sui and other educational institutes of the Dera Bugti and Sui.
Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, IG FC Major General Ejaz Shahid, Commandant MCS Brigadier Imranul Haq, MPA Sarfarz Bugti, and Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad attended the ceremony among others. MPA Sarfaz Bugti and other speakers also address the gathering.
Earlier, the Army chief distributed prizes among the students who got distinction.