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We donít want aid,we want respect: General Qamar Bajwa

07 September, 2017

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RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that Pakistan had rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism but still the country was being accused of not doing enough to eradicate the menace.

Addressing the participants of a ceremony held in connection with the Defence Day at the General Headquarters (GHQ), the COAS said that if Pakistan hadn’t done enough in fight against terrorism, then no country of the world had done anything. “Pakistan has done enough in war against terrorism and now it is time for the world to do more,” he said, and lamented, “Despite all our efforts, our countless sacrifices and over two decades of war, we are being told that we have not done enough against terrorism.”

“We don’t want aid ... we want your respect and confidence,” he said, addressing the United States. “Not only is the entire country paying the price of the fire you have set, but our enemies are also taking advantage of the situation... a monopoly over violence should only be the prerogative of the state.”

On Afghan situation, General Bajwa said Pakistan had always tried to support its neighbouring country beyond its means. “But we can’t fight Afghan war in Pakistan. If international powers cannot support Pakistan, then they should at least not hurl accusations. They should not hold us responsible for their own shortcomings,” he said. “Since 1971 Pakistan has remained a victim of terrorism. We have paid the price for the wars started by super powers in the form of terrorism, extremism and economic loss. We are abiding by our policy that we will not allow our soil to be used against any country, and expect the same of other countries.”

“I would like to tell all anti-state elements that we are ready to combat their terrorism and malicious intentions. And whether we are Punjabi, Pathan, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Gilgiti or Balti, we are ready to sacrifice for Balochistan the way the sons of Balochistan have sacrificed for Pakistan. We have pride in the people of Balochistan who have rejected terrorism and separatism,” Gen Bajwa said. “I would like to tell the misguided people that whatever you are doing is not jihad but fasaad. Your country and your people are being hurt the most by your actions,” he cautioned. “Let us create a Pakistan where the use of strength is in accordance with the law and constitution and is in the hands of the state.”

“We are keeping a close watch on the designs of our enemies especially as they attempt to destroy the peace in Balochistan,” he said, adding, “Only Pakistan has seen this level of success with such limited resources. From Operation Sher Dil, to Rah-i-Rast, Rah-i-Nijat, Zarb-i-Azab and now Radd-ul-Fasaad, we have paid for each inch [of gains] with our blood.”

“Although the army can end terrorism, but to gain complete control over terrorism and extremism it is necessary that every citizen is a soldier of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad,” he maintained, while reminding the audience that the war against terrorism was also an ideological war.

On Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir, the army chief said, “India should realise that the peaceful struggle of hundreds of thousands of youth in Kashmir does not need interference from Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is in India’s favour that they prioritise political and diplomatic solutions for sustainable resolution of the Kashmir issue instead of insulting Pakistan and using force against Kashmiris.”

Earlier, singer Atif Aslam opened the ceremony with a patriotic song, as a video paying tribute to the armed forces played in the background.

A short film showing the families of martyred soldiers remembering their sons left members of the audience in tears. Activist and motivational speaker Muniba Mazari also spoke at the ceremony. Other entertainers also took the stage as the night progressed, and a series of short films and videos were shown to the audience. A marchpast also took place before the army chief took to the stage.

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