Just resolution of Kashmir issue vital for lasting peace in region: COAS

KAKUL: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said on Saturday that lasting peace in the region will only come about with the fair and just resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the will of Kashmiri people as enshrined in the UN resolutions.

While addressing the graduating cadets during 130th Passing Out Parade held at Pakistan Military Academy here, he said that coercion and repression of the Kashmiri people will never shake their confidence to ultimately exercise their freedom of choice promised by the international community.

“It is our firm belief that the determination of our Kashmiri brethren and collective conscience of free world will bear fruit and their aspirations will eventually be realized,” he added.

The COAS said that Pakistan Army is fully capable of deterring and defeating aggression across the entire spectrum of threat, adding, Yet, we persistently seek peace in the region and beyond.

“We desire regional stability and relationship based on equality and mutual respect. Sentiments of goodwill and amity notwithstanding, let there be no doubt that any aggression against our beloved country will get a befitting response and no sacrifice will be too great in this sacred cause,” he added.

About Zarb-e-Azb operation going on in North Waziristan, he said that it is not merely an operation, it is a concept, it is a resolve and a commitment of the nation.

He said that the commitment is to cleanse Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism once and for all.

Pakistan Army is the cutting-edge of this resolve.

A resolve that is currently evident in North Waziristan, where the military Operations are delivering decisive results.

Pakistan’s Law Enforcement Agencies aided by Intelligence Agencies are also playing a commendable role in hunting down terrorists and their networks across the country, he added.

In view of the successes, we are achieving the displaced people of FATA will be able to return to their homes sooner than expected, he said adding, “On their return a new life of peace and prosperity shall Insha Allah take root.”

He said that nonetheless, in order to bring about lasting peace in FATA and the country at large, cohesive, dedicated and timely involvement of all stake holders and state institutions is essential.

General Raheel Sharif said that the rapidly changing geopolitical environment and globally asserting no-state actors have put Pakistan in the centre stage.

In its wake it has brought numerous challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. This has put enormous burden of responsibility and deliverance on Pakistan Army.

Shying away from adversities is not in our nature, we have resolved to face these squarely, as this is the surest route to success, he added.

By the Grace of Allah Almighty, he said, Pakistan Army today is highly experienced and battle hardened.

“May it be external aggression, internal security, national building tasks or natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes; we have always lived up to the expectations of the nation. Our officers lead from the front,” he added.

He said that this is Pakistan Army’s professional culture and proud tradition which is adequately reflected in its fight against terrorism; during which over four thousand officers and men have made the supreme sacrifice.

“My dear cadets, now the Army reposes trust in you to carry forward this tradition,” he added.

Source: APP