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Nation will never forget armymen's sacrifices: COAS Kayani

03 October, 2013

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GAYARI: Paying tributes to the martyrs of the Gayari Sector, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday said that the nation would never forget the sacrifices of its martyred army Jawans.

The army chief was speaking at a commemorative ceremony held here near the Siachen Glacier to honour the 140 army Jawans martyred on April 7, 2012 after a huge part of a mountain fell on them at night.

High-ranking army officers and Jawans attended the event in the backdrop of high altitude mountains in the strategically-important Gayari Sector.

The army chief said that the army vowed to search for all its martyred Jawans buried alive under 120-feet-long and 70-feet-wide boulder and hand over their bodies to the heirs with dignity and honour.

"It was an impossible task but the army determinedly accepted it as a challenge," he said adding the long drawn search was carried out in a 13,000-feet-high area covered with snow.The army chief said Pakistani and international experts called the search operation a futile effort and suggested to declare the site a mass grave.

According to some experts, seven to eight years were required to dig out the bodies but despite all the difficulties, the army was unwavering in its determination, he recalled.

"It is a matter of satisfaction that the Jawans of Pakistan Army completed the task with an unprecedented courage and persistence."The armymen, with the help of 50 heavy excavation equipment, worked day and night and succeeded in digging out the bodies of 133 martyrs, he noted.

He expressed determination that the search for bodies would continue till the remaining seven bodies were taken out and handed over to their loved ones for dignified burials.The army chief thanked the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), Nadra, other organisations and international community for their contribution during the gigantic operation.

He also thanked the nation for its prayers and complete support to the Pakistan Army.The army chief said the whole nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the army in the sacred duty of defence of Pakistan.

In that hour of trial, the whole nation displayed great courage and exemplary determination, he added."Those nations which remember their martyrs remain alive and dynamic," he added.Popular singer Shehzad Roy sang patriotic songs adding an element of sombre to the dignified event.

End.

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