Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday advised the passed-out officers at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) not to get distracted by fake news, political wranglings in the country and always respect democratic institutions.
The army chief was addressing the passing out ceremony of the 146th PMA Long Course held at PMA, Kakul.
General Bajwa began by advising the cadets to always remember the value of keeping a brave face in front of the men they lead even if they are shattered and frightened as every one of them in a life-and-death situation.
“The contagious energy you will instill in your men when you lead them by example and not merely by words,” he said.
The army chief stressed the importance of keeping the well-being of the troops above all, saying it is the hallmark of a successful military leader.
He also quoted Field Marshal Philip Walhouse Chetwode to remind the cadets of the essence of his words. “The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”
He said that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and in the quest for peace, it has extended sincere efforts to evolve good relations with all its neighbours and regional countries.
“We are trying our best to break the political logjam which has denied the south Asian countries to move forward and resolve all regional and bilateral issues in a peaceful and dignified manner,” General Bajwa added.
He said that the people of South Asia deserve prosperity and better living conditions, which can only be achieved with sustained economic growth, developing and lasting peace.
“Therefore we should try to keep the flames of war away from the region,” he said.
We must give peace a chance by developing a mechanism to resolve all the bilateral issues peacefully, he said.
“Moreover, as opposed to fighting each other, we should collectively fight hunger poverty, illiteracy, population explosion, climate change and disease. The world has changed, and so should we as the price of the status quo will be devastating for all of us.”
He, however, clarified that Pakistan’s desire for peace must not be construed as a weakness.
“No one should make any mistake about our collective resolve to defend our core interests and every inch of our motherland. I must remind you that we have paid both in blood and kind to safeguard our sovereignty and integrity.
“My dear cadets, you are entering the service when the challenges facing the country are complex and multifaceted hence your responsibilities are far greater and more demanding than that of your predecessors.”
General Bajwa advised the cadets that as good soldiers they must always remain focused on their jobs and don’t get distracted by fake news and political wrangling in the country.
“Respect the democratic institutions and be ready to defend the territorial integrity, sovereignty and constitution of Pakistan with your life,” he further added.
“Always remain prepared and alert to respond and defeat all intrigues and conspiracies hatched against our country with an iron fist. The message is clear. The armed forces, with the support of our citizens, will never allow any country, group or force to politically or economically destabilize Pakistan,” he concluded while thanking the commandant for training the cadets.
He also congratulated the cadets for successfully completing the course.