On Defence Day, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa warned the nation that there is an attempt being made “discredit the country and the armed forces, and to spread chaos” through fifth-generation or hybrid warfare.
“On this occasion, I would like to turn your attention to another challenge. This challenge has been imposed on us through the fifth generation or hybrid war,” said the army chief, while addressing an investiture ceremony held at the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The army chief vowed that the army would fight against the threat with the support of the nation and be successful against it.
Gen Bajwa, during the ceremony, conferred military awards to army personnel for acts of gallantry during various operations.
“Families of shuhada/ghazis, senior serving military officers/soldiers also attended the ceremony,” according to a press release by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
The military’s media wing said 40 officers were awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military), 24 officers and soldiers were awarded Tamgha-e-Bisalat and a soldier was awarded the United Nations Medal.
The medals of the martyred were received by their family members.
Pakistan seeks regional peace
While addressing the ceremony, Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan seeks peace in the region, adding that the country’s key efforts in Afghanistan were a testament to the fact.
He warned that neighbouring India — like always — has adopted an “irresponsible attitude”. He added that New Delhi took the “illegal step” of ending the special status of occupied Kashmir.
“India has once again threatened peace in the region,” said the army chief, adding that it was a fact that Kashmir was an internationally accepted dispute. He said that Pakistan does not accept “any such unilateral decision” of the Indian government.
“The founder of Pakistan had declared Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan. We do not accept any unilateral decision related to Kashmir,” he. He also warned India that Pakistan would not be “intimidated” by stockpiling of newly acquired weapons by New Delhi.
“The armed forces of Pakistan are fully equipped, vigilant and aware,” noted Gen Bajwa, adding that they would respond befittingly to any move made by the enemy with full force.
“Pakistan is a living reality; our blood, passion, action will provide proof of this on every front,” said the army chief. He reiterated that Pakistan was a peace-loving nation but if war is imposed on it then it would give a stronger response than the enemy.
“We showed this by responding to the failed Balakot attack,” said Gen Bajwa.
Turning peace into prosperity
The army chief said that Pakistan faced great trials over the last 20 years with war on the eastern and western fronts. He said that the country, also faced natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, and the war on terror.
Gen Bajwa said thousands of people got displaced and many sacrificed their lives. He also noted that the country successfully fought against coronavirus and the locust attack.
He said in all those “challenging times” the country did not lose hope and fought against it head-on. He added that due to these sacrifices, Pakistan was peaceful today.
“Now we have to turn this peace into prosperity and development. We as a nation will have to struggle for it,” said the army, adding that the country will have to adopt the principles of unity, faith, and discipline and follow Quaid-e-Azam’s directives to “work, work and only work”.
World acknowledges sacrifices of army
Earlier in his speech, Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan’s armed forces made a lot of sacrifices across the world for peace.
“The world acknowledges the sacrifices of the armed forces,” he said. He added that September 6, 1965, was an “immortal chapter” in Pakistan’s history.
The army chief said that numerous stories of solidarity, patriotism, sacrifice and bravery came to the forefront on September 6, 1965. He added that the September 6 was not just a day for Pakistan but is a “testament to our courage”.
Gen Bajwa said that the day was observed throughout the country to remember the martyrs of 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil wars.
“This day reminds us that we defeated an enemy much bigger than us. We are ready today as well to defeat the nefarious plans of the enemy,” said the army chief.
He said that he salutes the families of the martyrs and assured them the country will never forget their sacrifices.
“Our martyrs are our heroes,” said Gen Bajwa, adding that those nations that forget their heroes are forgotten in history.