ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday a “hybrid war” had been imposed on Pakistan to internally weaken it, but noted that the enemies were failing to divide the country on the basis of ethnicity and other identities.
“Our enemies know that they cannot beat us fair and square and have thus subjected us to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war. They are trying to weaken our resolve by weakening us from within.” Gen Bajwa said in his speech at the passing-out parade of cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul while referring to the strategies of the ‘enemies’ employing political and other means of interventions.
This was the second time in a week that the army chief has indirectly referred to a new movement launched in the name of rights of Pakhtun people.
Speaking at events in Peshawar and Rawalpindi on Thursday, he had cautioned against the “engineered protests” and emphasised that “no anti-state agenda would be allowed under the garb of those protests”. He believes that these protests have been instigated to undo the gains made by the armed forces in the fight against terrorism.
Army chief gives credit to sacrifices and courage of people, particularly tribesmen of KP and Fata, for success against terrorism
A selection of video testimonials of the graduates, released by the Inter-Services Public Relations, included cadets from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) who mentioned contributions of the Army in restoring peace and normality to their areas. The line of messaging in the testimonials was aimed at challenging the narrative of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement that is built around deprivation of and discrimination against Pakhtun people, besides denial of their basic rights.
Among the cadets, who got commissioned in service at the ceremony, were 67 cadets from Balochistan and 31 from Fata.
The army chief vowed to defeat the nefarious designs of “inimical forces”.
“We also refuse to be pulled asunder on issues of sect, ethnicity, caste or creed. The diversity of Pakistan is our strength. The very resilience of Pakistan comes, not just from our military capacity, but from the synergetic mix of a people who have come together, willingly towards a single purpose,” he said.
He credited the successes against terrorism to “the willing sacrifices and matchless courage of our people in general and Pashtun tribesmen of KP and Fata in particular”.
Gen Bajwa noted that the armed forces were determinedly focused on the “primary objective” of “eradication and elimination of terrorism” and said that the action was indiscriminate against terrorists of all hues and shades.
“As a result of past and ongoing operations, Pakistan has eliminated almost all organised terrorist presence and infrastructure from its soil. We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under the banner of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” Gen Bajwa said while giving the current status of counter-terrorism operations.
He also touched on external issues, including Afghanistan, and reaffirmed the support for the reconciliation process there.
About Kashmir, he reaffirmed Pakistan’s political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and said the route to peaceful resolution of Pak-India disputes — including the core issue of Kashmir — ran through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue.
“While such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remains the inevitable precursor to peace across the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour,” he added.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018