Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa meets families of martyrs during the investiture ceremony at the GHQ, in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.—INP
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa meets families of martyrs during the investiture ceremony at the GHQ, in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.—INP

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday it was the army that responds to disasters, “whether it is a flood, a hurricane, an earthquake or a tsunami, you would find army everywhere without warning”.

Addressing the GHQ investiture ceremony, the army chief admitted that cholera had spread to many parts of Balochistan. “There is water shortage and the army has reached there and is serving those people, even without my knowledge. The army is providing water and relief to the affected population,” he said.

Speaking at the ceremony, held to confer honours upon army personnel who had performed acts of gallantry and rendered meritorious services to the nation, Gen Bajwa said the world asked how Pakistan had succeeded against the menace of terrorism where the rest of the world had failed. “I always say that we have mothers who have sacrificed their loved ones, our sisters who have lost their husbands and the children who are ready to sacrifice their fathers in this country and as long as there are such mothers and our sisters, I am confident that no harm can come to Pak­istan,” he said.

The COAS said no nation could offer compensation for the sacrifice of its martyrs. “No material power, wealth, money can be a substitute for their sacrifices. We have a responsibility to take care of the heirs of the martyrs, and their families, and also to take care of their widows and their parents while taking care of their children, which we will do, God willing. But I believe that no care and no privilege can be a substitute for sacrifices of the martyrs.”

“A widow whose husband has passed away and whose children have lost their father’s affection will also miss him and there can be no substitute for him,” he added. “But I say that this country is alive because of your sacrifices and I salute you that because of your sacrifices Pakistan is safe today.” Families of Shuhada (martyrs) also attended the ceremony, said an ISPR press release. In all, 48 officers were awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military). Seven officers, three JCOs and 30 soldiers were awarded Tamgha-i-Basalat. The medals were received by their family members.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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