RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday that the supreme sacrifice rendered by the students and teachers of the Army Public School, Peshawar, had not gone in vain.
In a message posted by the ISPR on Twitter, he was reported to have observed that the sacrifice rendered by them symbolised “our undeterred resolve for love of our motherland”. “We owe this improving peace to you,” the army chief added.
At the concluding ceremony of a shooting competition Gen Bajwa said the best way to pay homage to the country’s martyrs was by way of contributing to “national strength in pursuit of national objectives”.
He was interacting at firing ranges near Jhelum with participants of the 37th Pakistan Army Rifle Association Central Meet, the country’s premier shooting competition as chief guest, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement.
He said that shooting was one of the basic soldiering skills and mastery over it could lead to a host of proud achievements.
“December 16 is a day that we must never forget. Our enemy hurt us on this day at Peshawar three years back,” he said.
The army chief said that through resilience and faith the nation had overcome the difficulties it had faced due to the heart-wrenching incident. “However, we still have a lot to do to ensure that we completely defeat those who perpetrated that crime against us.”
While at the national level, said Gen Bajwa, the way forward was outlined in the National Action Plan, at the military level it was the pursuit of professional excellence and commitment that had helped turn the tide. In this regard, activities like firing competitions had played a vital role.
A total of 811 competitors, including 142 civilians and 25 teams from the three services, Pakistan Rangers, Lahore Garrison Shooting Gallery, Federal Rifle Association and Pakistan Police from Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in 29 events during the four-week-long meet.
The COAS awarded trophies and medals to the winners and runners-up in each category of the competition. The biggest military shooting honour, the Master at Arms Trophy, was awarded to Havaldar Sadiq Badshah of the Bahawalpur Corps.
The President’s Cup National Challenge Match Trophy was awarded to Sepoy Azeem Shah of the army. The Prime Minister Skills at Arms (big bore) National Challenge Match was won by the army.
The COAS trophy was clinched by the Pakistan Air Force. The Chief of Air Staff pistol match was won by Pakistan Navy. The Best Shot Match Trophy Gp-2 was awarded to Naik Nazar Ali.
Maj Gen Ahsan Gulrez won two individual and three team medals during the competition.
Commanders of the Rawalpindi, Mangla, Gujranwala, Lahore, Multan and Bahawalpur corps, the inspector general for training and evaluation, inspector general for arms and other senior military officers were also present on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2017