ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday reaffirmed support of the armed forces to any efforts for restoration of peace in country, but warned that the security institution is fully capable to crush ‘rebels of the state’ if they fail to surrender unconditionally and express allegiance to law and constitution of the country.
“Pakistan Army supports all effort for elimination of terrorism and restoration of peace in country. We wish that all anti-state elements shun violence and join national mainstream. Otherwise, no one should have any doubts about our capability to deal with rebels of the state,” army chief told a ceremony to mark the ‘Youm-e-Shuhada’ at the General Headquarters.
The army chief said Pakistan was in a state of war. “Not only Pakistan army but all institutions of the state and even the people are entangled in this war,” Gen Raheel said. He said Pakistan was facing several external as well as internal challenges. “But, I assure you that Pakistan Army, in collaboration with intelligence agencies, civil armed forces and police, will act as a shield to these challenges. Enemy will have to bite the dust.”
Gen Raheel asserted that armed forces were keeping an eye on all internal and external threats and were fully capable to deal with those. “Army will continue to play its role for national security and development and prosperity of the country,” he said.
Gen Raheel said army believed in stability of democracy, supremacy of constitution and rule of law in the country. “It’s the only way that can lead us to development and prosperity. We must follow Quaid-e-Azam’s golden principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline,” he said, and added that all institutions of state must support each other to make this system a success. “Pakistan army will always keep working for progress of the country and prosperity of the masses.”
Gen Raheel appreciated the role of civil society and media in national development. He said media always played its due role for molding the public opinion in national interest. “We believe in press freedom and responsible journalism and appreciate their sacrifices.”
The army chief said Kashmir is jugular vein of Pakistan. “It is an international dispute. We have UN resolutions on this issue,” he said, and maintained that resolution of Kashmir issue only according to the wishes of Kashmiri people can guarantee peace and stability in the region. “Sacrifices by Kashmiri brethren won’t go waste,” he said. “Pakistan army wants peace but is always ready to respond to any aggression,” he added.
Gen Raheel said Pakistan army, besides safeguarding the territorial boundaries of the country, is also playing its due role in country’s development and welfare of the masses. He said army is a unifying force among the federating units of the country. “At least 20,000 people from Balochistan have joined armed forces as soldiers and officers in recent years. It’s a clear proof of confidence of Baloch people in army,” he said.
The army chief paid rich tributes to people who sacrificed their lives in the war against terrorism and their relatives. “We salute those mothers, daughters, sisters who sacrificed their near and dear ones for the security of the country. We salute those brave soldiers and personnel of civil armed forces who are fighting this menace with courage. We also salute those civilians who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their country,” he said.
Earlier, the army chief laid floral wreath and offered prayers for the martyrs.
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