Monday, September 7, 2015

Daily Times Editorial Sept 8, 2015

COAS’s message On the occasion of Defence Day, September 6, COAS General Raheel Sharif took advantage of the occasion to send a loud and clear message for internal as well as external consumption. Addressing a special ceremony at GHQ to pay tributes to the martyrs of Pakistan, on the internal front General Sharif dilated on the operation in Karachi, reiterating the resolve to continue it till its logical end. He underlined the need for all state institutions to play their role in achieving the objectives of the National Action Plan (NAP). General Sharif stated categorically that the army would not relent until all terrorists, their financiers, abettors, facilitators and sympathisers had been brought to justice. On both the internal and external challenges, General Raheel Sharif said the army was capable of dealing with any kind of situation and had achieved major successes in the war on terror. The terrorists, he pointed out, were on the run and would not be spared till they were eliminated. On the external front, the COAS warned the enemies of Pakistan that they would suffer irreparable losses if they dared to commit aggression against the country. The army was prepared to deal with all military doctrines of the enemy, including ‘cold starts’ and ‘hot starts’ (an obvious reference to the Indian strategic doctrine). General Sharif pointed to the importance of September 6 as on this day in 1965, Pakistan repulsed the attack of a far bigger enemy and caused it heavy losses. He emphasised that Kashmir remained the unresolved part of the agenda of partition and it was high time it was solved according to the UN resolutions and the Kashmiri people’s wishes, since there could not be any peace in South Asia without such a solution. Citing the successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorist networks, General Sharif said Pakistan and its army had been engaged in a non-traditional war for years. Referring to the Peshawar school massacre that triggered an even more robust response to the terrorists, he said the incident was the epitome of barbarity. He praised the immense patience of the parents of the slain school children in the face of the atrocity and said this patience gave the nation a new motivation. Today, most of the terrorists involved in that murderous bloodshed had met their fate, the COAS stated. General Sharif also paid tribute to the people of FATA for their sacrifices, adding that the return of the internally displaced persons to their homes had already begun and the process will be further expedited. The media too came in for rich praise from the COAS for unveiling the true face of the terrorists, which was a key aspect of the war against the militants. Emphasising the critical importance of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the army chief reiterated the army’s resolve to play its full role in its completion. On Afghanistan, the COAS pointed out that the two countries were tied by blood and had a deep-rooted, historic relationship. He mentioned the steps Pakistan had taken for peace in that war-torn country, referring in this context to spoilers of the peace process whose efforts would be foiled. The unprecedented show of unity and enthusiasm on Defence Day this year can and should be placed in the context of the current tensions with India. For Pakistan, there is no choice but to keep its powder dry and wait for the current fever in Modi’s government against Pakistan to die down and for New Delhi to return to inevitable talks between the two neighbours for resolving their problems. Pakistan needs peace on its western and eastern borders in order to deal effectively with its internal problems and pave the way for a peaceful and prosperous future. For this purpose, there is also the need for the civil and military leadership to continue to work in the close coordination that has been on display for some time, while heeding the COAS’s words on state institutions playing their due role in this existential struggle against the terrorists and fanatics that afflict our society.

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