Pakistan knows how to defend its freedom: COAS

Published August 14, 2023
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir addresses the Azadi Parade marking the country’s 76th independence anniversary in Kakul on Sunday. — APP
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir addresses the Azadi Parade marking the country’s 76th independence anniversary in Kakul on Sunday. — APP
Abbottabad: Pakistan Military Academy cadets march while carrying flags during the Azadi Parade held on the eve of 76th Independence Day, on Sunday.—ISPR
Abbottabad: Pakistan Military Academy cadets march while carrying flags during the Azadi Parade held on the eve of 76th Independence Day, on Sunday.—ISPR

KAKUL: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir paid tribute to the nation’s founding fathers, emphasising the significance of Independence Day and the spirit behind the creation of Pakistan “rooted in the ideology of the Two Nation Theory” and stressing that the country knew how to defend its hard-earned freedom.

In his address at the Azadi Parade marking the country’s 76th independence anniversary, the army chief said the nation had “maintained this tradition of celebrating freedom, equality and quest for happiness, which we must continue to cherish”.

The gathering was held at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul late on Sunday.

Gen Munir praised the country’s vast resources and the enthusiasm of its youth, urging them to remain steadfast in faith, unity and discipline.

Acknowledging the myriad of challenges faced by the nation, from geopolitical wrangling to internal threats, the COAS struck a defiant tone. “Let me caution them all, in the words of our great Quaid, ‘There is no power on earth which can undo Pakistan’,” he said, asserting that the army stood ready to defend Pakistan’s sovereignty at all costs.

Gen Munir also took the occasion to express solidarity with the people of held Kashmir, condemning the international community’s lack of action against Indian actions in the region.

“It is for the conscience of the international community to realise that Indian excesses in Kashmir have gone unaddressed and the right to freedom and self-determination is being denied at the altar of geopolitical necessity,” he added.

He also expressed gratitude to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, “who are resiliently fighting against the savages of terrorism and proxies for over two decades”.

Addressing India, the COAS made it clear that Pakistan knew how to defend its freedom and would not be cowed by aggressive designs. “I must say that we gained freedom after a great struggle and we know how to defend it,” he said and also urged Afghanistan to ensure its soil isn’t used against Pakistan.

Highlighting the importance of regional cooperation, Gen Munir mentioned strengthened ties with long-standing allies such as China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkiye, Qatar and Iran.

Towards the end of his address, Gen Munir urged the nation to “stand united and rise above self to serve Pakistan in whatever ways it demands of us”. He added: “Always remember, Pakistan is our identity, and the rationale to exist — Pakistan hai, to hum hain!”

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2023

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