ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Tuesday it was time to secure the future of the region through the recommitment to peace.
“It is time to extend the hand of peace everywhere,” Gen Bajwa said while addressing the graduation ceremony of 144th GD (P), 90th Engineering Course, and 100th AD courses at PAF Academy, Asghar Khan, in Risalpur. He was the chief guest of the event.
The statement coming from the COAS was significant in the regional context, considering the increased hostility of Pakistan’s neighbours — India and Afghanistan.
Reiterating Pakistan’s role in maintaining peace, Gen Bajwa said: “ Pakistan is a peace-loving country that has rendered great sacrifices for regional and global peace. We stand firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.”
Nevertheless, the COAS firmly stated that peace with India could never be achieved at the cost of Kashmir.“Pakistan and India must also resolve the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a dignified and peaceful manner as per the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and bring this human tragedy to its logical conclusion.”
He also cautioned that Pakistan’s desire for peace must not be mistaken for weakness.“The armed forces of Pakistan are fully capable and prepared to thwart any threat,” Bajwa added.
The army chief hailed the improvement in the internal security environment as an outcome of enhanced inter-services coordination. In this regard, he especially lauded the ‘critical role’ played by the Pakistan Air Force in the war against terrorism.
He said, “The outstanding courage and professional excellence displayed by brave air warriors of Pakistan Air Force during Operation Swift Retort is a manifestation of our resolve and capability. The whole nation is proud of its air force, and I earnestly hope that PAF will scale new heights of glory and excellence in the years to come.”