KAKUL: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa honouring a distinguished cadet on Saturday.
KAKUL: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa honouring a distinguished cadet on Saturday.

• We continue to support govt as per law, reaffirms Bajwa
• Says enemies who plotted Pakistan’s doom and destruction are watching it with disdain

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday observed that positive criticism must not be confused with hybrid war.

“Most voices that might seem loud to you, come from a place of love, patriotism and trust and therefore must be heeded,” he said while speaking at the passing-out parade of cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.

“We must listen to our people and apply corrections where needed. These voices are a proof that we are alive and well as a nation, that is moving in the right direction,” he noted.

The COAS said the enemies who plotted Pakistan’s doom and destruction were watching it with disdain. “Having failed and feeling frustrated, they have now subjected us to a 24/7 hybrid war. This war is not fought in the battlefields but in the minds. In previous wars, soldiers were taking the brunt on the frontline; in this new war, however, leadership at all levels is the target,” he said. This was a huge challenge that they would be confronted with from day one, he told the young officers. “Please keep in mind that not only you have to discern light from the darkness, but also protect your men from sedition. The best way to do it is to just follow the SOPs, traditions and time-tested ethos of the Army,” he said.

The army chief said the objective of hybrid war was to target the “sense of hope” in Pakistan and to perpetuate the perception of ‘Yahan Kuch Acha Nahi ho Sakta’. “Let me tell you, Yahan Sub Acha Hoga. We Pakistanis always find a way, and that we will InshaAllah,” he said.

Describing the strong bond with people, constitution, democracy and the democratic values as strength of the armed forces, this bond would be defended in the days ahead, said Gen Bajwa.

“Our actions are guided by the Constitution and the national interest of Pakistan. You will appreciate that today Pakistan is, Alhamdullilah, secure from military point of view. We continue to support the government, whenever asked to, as per the law and guidelines of the constitution. We, Pakistanis, have proved that we can do wonders when we keep national interest above our parochial, institutional and personal interests,” he remarked.

The COAS said the fight against terrorism and coronavirus pandemic and response to floods and locust threat was testimony to Pakistan Army’s capacity to work and deliver. He said: “These are important undertakings and Pakistan Army is proud to support the nation, as it has always supported us especially when we were fighting the physical enemies of Pakistan. It is my prayer and wish that tomorrow, when one of you stands at my place, you stand as the military leader of a Pakistan that has arrived at its rightful place as a happy and prosperous homeland where Muslims of South Asia will have finally found their panacea of a modern Islamic state but also, where all minorities are equally happy and are considered valuable citizens and where all institutions stand equally robust and capable in service of the nation.”

He said: “Today is the start of your careers in one of the most distinguished and battle hardened Army of the World. He proudly said the Pakistan Army not only defeated the scourge of terrorism but also gave a bloody nose to a five times bigger army in February 2019.

“I count it as a great honour that we stand before the nation as a trusted and accountable institution. Therefore, regardless of our failings and triumphs, we stand to give our best, whenever we are called upon to do so.”

He expressed his great satisfaction to see various institutions of Pakistan gaining strength, not only standing without Army’s support but rather supporting it and at times, surpassing it in the service of the nation.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the cadets belonged to 142nd PMA Long Course, 32nd Technical Graduate Course, 61st Integrated Course, 16th Lady Cadet Course and 1st Basic Military Training Course. Among them, cadets from Palestine, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the Maldives also successfully completed their training.

The COAS reviewed the passing-out parade and gave awards to distinguished cadets. The coveted Sword of Honour was awarded to Academy Senior Under Officer Mohammad Faateh of 142nd PMA Long Course. The President’s Gold Medal was given to Battalion Senior Under Officer Junaid Khan of 142nd PMA Long Course, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Overseas Gold Medal to Under Officer Naazim Naseer of 142nd PMA Long Course from the Maldives, Chief of Army Staff Cane to Company Junior Under Officer Tanawosh of 32nd Technical Graduate Course and Commandant Cane awarded to Sergeant Hamza Tariq of 61st Integrated Course, Company Sergeant Major Ada Urooj of 16th Lady Cadet Course and Company Under Officer Mehwish Anjum of 1st Basic Military Training Course.

Informed sources told Dawn that 15 of the cadets hailed from newly merged tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the recipient of President’s Gold Medal, Junaid Khan, was one of them. He hails from South Waziristan. Besides, the sources added, 54 cadets belonged to Balochistan, including Shabbir Ahmad Khan, son of former senator Hafiz Hamdullah.

COAS felicitates naval chief

Meanwhile, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi paid maiden visit to General Headquarters (GHQ) and called on the COAS, adds APP.

The COAS congratulated Admiral Amjad on assumption of Pakistan Navy command and expressed the hope that PN would achieve new heights under his able command, said a press release.

During the meeting, they discussed matters of professional interest.

Earlier, on his arrival at GHQ, the CNS laid floral wreath at Yadgar-i-Shuhada and offered fateha for the martyrs of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2020

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