ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday expressed the hope that the Taliban will fulfil promises made to the global community about women and human rights and will not allow the Afghan land to be used against any other country.

He said this while addressing the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul where he was the chief guest on the Flag Presentation Parade.

Gen Bajwa said Pakistan wanted peace in the country and the region and this desire was manifested by its sincere efforts to support an Afghan-led process to resolve the decades-long conflict in the neighbouring country.

“We have unambiguously and repeatedly asked the global community to play its part in an inclusive and unbiased Afghan process as well as economic sustenance of Afghanistan,” he said.

Says peace in Afghanistan is ‘direly needed’ for the entire region

He said Pakistan had paid a “huge price” for the instability in Afghanistan. He said that despite its own economic challenges, Pakistan had been hosting over three million Afghan refugees for the last four decades.

The army chief reiterated that Pakistan would continue to play its role for peace and stability in Afghanistan, which he said was “direly needed” for the entire region but especially for Afghans themselves.

Gen Bajwa also talked about the Kashmir issue, saying people in India-held Kashmir were under the “worst military occupation in human history”.

He said the hearts of Pakistanis beat with their brethren in Kashmir and they would continue to stand with the people of the occupied valley “always and ever”.

“Regional peace will remain elusive without a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue,” he pointed out.

The army chief said people of the subcontinent must not forget that the ultimate goal in the struggle against imperialism was to “secure an independent, harmonious and prosperous region wherein all newly created countries could live peacefully”.

However, those goals had become “hostage to increasing polarisation and radicalisation in our neighbourhood”, he regretted, warning that inimical forces were “trying to weaken the society and state through hybrid war”. He said Pakistan Army was “fully cognisant” of the challenges and was prepared to tackle them.

“We will ensure the country’s defence by focusing on core competencies and technology.” Addressing the cadets, he reminded them that “only strong armed forces can guarantee the defence of the motherland”.

He advised them to focus on their training and gain knowledge about the latest technologies. “Pakistan Army is proud of its young officers who continue to lead their men from the front with courage and devotion to defend the freedom of the motherland,” he added.

Terming the PMA as one of the finest institutions in the world entrusted with training of future leadership, he said: “The unconquerable resolve of the junior leadership of army is what Pak enemies dread the most.”

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021

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