President Mamnoon Hussain said on Saturday the National Action Plan (NAP) would continue until the last terrorist is smoked out from Pakistan to ensure peace in the country and the region.
Addressing the 134th Long Course Passing Out Parade at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), the president paid tributes to the sacrifices of the country's armed forces who were successfully countering terrorists through Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif also attended the passing out parade.
The president said the national political leadership unanimously agreed on NAP to eliminate extremism and terrorism from the country. “It is about time the international community acknowledged the sacrifices of the Pakistani nation and its security forces to ensure regional and global peace and stability,” he said.
The objectives for the creation of the state of Pakistan, according to the president, cannot be achieved till the internal and external challenges confronting the country were addressed. “The country got its independence after great sacrifices and every sacrifice will be rendered to maintain it,” he said.
Pakistan desired friendly and peaceful ties with all its neighbours. For durable peace in the region, he said, it is vital to address the crunch question of Kashmir.
President Mamnoon said Pakistan desired to resolve all issues peacefully through talks and its defence capabilities were for peace in the region. However, the president said, foreign interference and nuclear and conventional arms race in the region were being perpetuated with the aim of destabilising Pakistan which we cannot ignore," Pakistan, therefore wanted an end to these ploys for regional and global peace and the security of coming generations.
He said the armed forces were fully aware of the changing geo-political environment and were capable of meeting any challenge.
He assured that the government would continue to fulfill all needs of the armed forces of the country. "In view of the peculiar regional situation, there is no room for complacency and we need to further strengthen our defence capabilities and at the same time continue our policy of peaceful resolution of all disputes," he added.
He lauded the high quality of training, being imparted to the cadets at the PMA and said it could be seen from the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
The president congratulated the cadets of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya, Afghanistan and Palestine for successfully completing their training.
He also congratulated the cadets who were awarded prizes for their outstanding performance at the academy.
First batch: Six Afghan cadets also pass out
The first-ever group of Afghan army cadets passed out of Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul on Saturday, in the wake of enhanced bilateral ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The six Afghan cadets had joined the 134th PMA long course in February 2015.
President Ashraf Ghani had decided to send the cadets to Pakistan after the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif offered training courses at military academies in Pakistan for Afghan security forces. President Ghani was the first Afghan president to visit the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and General Sher Muhammad Karimi, was also the first Afghan army chief to speak at PMA Kakul in April last year.
Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, had turned down the Pakistani offer of training Afghan officers.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2016.
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