Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Saturday expressed optimism that the country will soon overcome the problem of terrorism and claimed that the armed forces have been successful in breaking the backbone of the militants.
Addressing the graduation ceremony of the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, the chief of army staff (COAS) said that, in the ongoing war against terrorism, the officers and soldiers of the armed forces have made great sacrifices and have achieved tremendous success.
While the army is engaged in operations against militants in many parts of the country, its campaign is focused mainly on the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan. Analysts believe that the burgeoning militancy is the most lethal internal threat to the country.
Kayani said the Pakistan Army is fully aware of internal and external threats to the country and would meet the expectations of the nation to defend the country’s national security. Despite accusations from the United States of not doing enough to curb terrorism, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) declared al Qaeda the top internal threat to the country in August last year.
The army chief said that the people of the country value their freedom and independence more than anything else and consider no sacrifice too great to preserve it. He called upon people to remain optimistic and keep the dream of a strong Pakistan alive. “I have no doubt that all of us can achieve this together,” he said.
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani congratulated the recently graduated cadets on their accomplishment. He extended his felicitations to the visiting cadets from Kazakhstan.
Addressing the cadets, the army chief said they have been chosen for a challenging and honorable profession in one of the finest armies of the world. “This profession demands strong…conviction. You can reach the zenith of glory by following the high standards of professionalism.”
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff reviewed parade and awarded medals. The coveted Sword of Honour was awarded to Academy Senior Under Officer Abdul Malik from 123rd PMA Long Course, The President’s Gold Medal to Battalion Senior Under Officer Qazi Fasihuddin, the COAS Overseas Gold Medal to Allied Under Officer Tukakov Betyr Naryzbayewish from Kazakistan, the Commandant’s Cane for the best cadet of Integrated course 42nd was awarded to Course Under Rizwan Abdul Malik. The Commandant Cane for the best cadet of Lady Cadets’ Course 8th was awarded to Course Under Officer Ayesha Aslam.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2011.