National security: The army supports democracy, says Gen Kayani

Published: May 1, 2012
Kayani says armed forces will follow policy in accordance with national aspirations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Kayani says armed forces will follow policy in accordance with national aspirations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Kayani says armed forces will follow policy in accordance with national aspirations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani prays after laying a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada at General Headquarters on Monday. PHOTO:  ISPR

As the political scene heats up with the government and the opposition drawing battle lines, Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that the army supports the democratic process in the country.

“The priority of a democratic system is welfare of the people, safeguarding their self-respect and establishing a society where justice is equal for all. This will strengthen national security,” Gen Kayani told a gathering in connection with the ‘Martyrs Day’ celebrations at the GHQ on Monday.

He said that all national institutions should work within the limits laid down in the Constitution.

He said the armed forces believed in a strong democratic system and its continuity in the country, whose development and prosperity was linked with the respect of democratic values.

General Kayani said the Constitution had clearly determined the responsibilities and duties of national institutions and “it is imperative to fulfill our responsibilities in such a manner which improves our own and the country’s image.”

Gen Kayani said that campaigns were launched following last year’s events – including the Abbottabad raid and the Salala air raid – to undermine the sacrifices of Pakistan Army and to destabilise the country at the international level.

This created chaos and despondency in the Pakistani nation, he said. However, he added that the armed forces, which draw their strength from the people, are capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty.

These events, Gen Kayani said, highlighted the need to review our relations to make others respect our honour and dignity.

He was referring to the foreign policy guidelines recently approved by Parliament.

The army chief reiterated that the armed forces would follow the policy formed in accordance with national aspirations.

“Our objective as a nation is to strengthen the country,” he added.

Gen Kayani also spoke about the exemplary sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation and its security forces in the fight against militancy.

“Despite these sacrifices, our country is still at war,” he said and expressed the hope that the Pakistani nation would emerge victorious from this phase.

He prayed for all those who laid down their lives while fighting militancy and defending their country.

Speaking about dozens of troops trapped in an avalanche in the Giari sector at Siachen Glacier, Gen Kayani assured the families that the ongoing search for the soldiers, who sacrificed their lives for the country, would continue till the last body was retrieved.

(With input from APP)

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Sharjeel Jawaid, Karachi, Pakistan
    May 1, 2012 - 6:12AM

    A similar assurance was given by Gen Zia ul Haq!


  • Ashraf P
    May 1, 2012 - 6:50AM

    The army always “supports” democracy while the previous military rule is still fresh in the minds of the citizens. Give it another couple of years and the army will make a u-turn on democracy.


  • Gul Khan
    May 1, 2012 - 6:53AM

    Salute to Gen Kiyani. The most responsible and professional COAS in the history of Pakistan. Long Live Pakistan, Long Live Pak Army.


  • Falcon
    May 1, 2012 - 7:04AM

    Certainly a positive gesture from Gen. Kayani


  • Kanwal
    May 1, 2012 - 7:06AM

    Of course you do! what else you should do?


  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 1, 2012 - 7:27AM

    Army only supports sham democracy of corrupt polticians. Honest, patriot and visionary politicians are exiled.


  • Mirza
    May 1, 2012 - 7:58AM

    This is a new in the general’s thinking. Let us hope and pray that they are sincere and not the empty words like the oaths of previous generals. This should also be a blow to the aspirants who want to subvert the democratic process via backdoor and not through elections.


  • Rizwan
    May 1, 2012 - 8:18AM

    The Supreme Court reigns supreme. It is the law of the land and can not be ignored by anyone.

    Gilani is no longer the Prime Minister of Pakistan as he is a convict.

    The Constitution clearly makes this clear.

    The verdict is final


  • m.b.f.h
    May 1, 2012 - 8:26AM

    Is this the place where our General told the institutions & aspirants to stay in the constitutional limits of your office and that the Parliament is Supreme. Whoa! That's Big Words for some, while a thick white-line for other hopeful on the track.

    That’s a very sensible General I am witnessing today.


  • Rizwan
    May 1, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Never chose the side of a loser, it is contagious


  • Polpot
    May 1, 2012 - 8:45AM

    “he added that the armed forces, which draw their strength from the people, are capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty.”
    are they capable of defending the country or only seeking unconditional apologies?
    what about the drone strikes?


  • Atif Razzaq
    May 1, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Believe it or not…..
    He is a genuine and patriot General: this statement is for the reasons of his acts he did being a General. Our political leaders should need to learn the lesson from him. He has a very good heart for the poor and he did a lot in the ARMY for Jawans.
    Strongly wished to have these kinds of leaders in our political setup who can take care of only the people of Pakistan not only their assets and bank balances.


  • mani
    May 1, 2012 - 9:18AM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid, Karachi, Pakistan:
    ^ yar give these guys a break!!!


  • May 1, 2012 - 9:43AM

    Instead of celeberating youme shuhda,he should have spend more time in locating our shaheeds at gayari sector in Siachin area.Moraly we are doomed.


  • i want to know
    May 1, 2012 - 9:44AM

    is their something to support ?


  • huzaifa
    May 1, 2012 - 10:16AM

    An exceptional leader and COAS, a man of crisis who will be remembered more with passing time. The MAN countered all invitations to power, ignored all follies of the government, fend off lures by opposition and lead the Army in a difficult, most traumatic and trying times. His understanding of geo strategic situation is outstanding and prowess at negotiations are astounding. Rather it is handling of own or talks with US, he has managed it on tight rope. May God bless him.


  • Ashutosh
    May 1, 2012 - 10:32AM

    The army should just not support democracy but obey the democratically elected leader


  • Dinesh Chetti
    May 1, 2012 - 10:37AM

    I am hearing Zia ul haq in Kayani here.


  • Mr. Honest
    May 1, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Will you get another EXTENSION chief?


  • usman786
    May 1, 2012 - 10:55AM

    Was there any representation from govt and public in this stand alone event? Martayers belong to the nation and if they are excluded then a situation like Bangladesh is happening. Compensate them well out of NATO support fund as per pkg for a NATO soldier since we are fighting for them on this side of border and its damaging our economy so all payments be collected in advance else we will never get the last / disputed one.
    The whole area was sealed and poor soldiers were standing on every entrance (galli) in 3-4 km range. Why GHQ is not shifted to Isb?


  • Uza Syed
    May 1, 2012 - 12:46PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid, Karachi, Pakistan: Yes, he did and we refused to hear and that’s history. Now, as usual the history is back and will haunt us again and this time around may be remain with us for longer much longer than Zia did. You did a good job, Sharjeel, more than warning one can’t can not do.


  • Hedgefunder
    May 1, 2012 - 1:02PM

    Ofcourse, the Army wants Democracy ! There is nothing left for them to gain from taking over as Country is already bankrupt and its going to get lot worse, to be observers than in charge !


  • Kaleem
    May 1, 2012 - 1:11PM

    Rather than saluting him for fighting in most harsh circumstances, we are pouring our frustrations again. Those who are criticizing Kiyani should remember that CJ has also praised him for continuity of democracy. We have concrete threats from almost all borders and yet this army has done quite a good job in reducing suicide attacks. Take my bow, Sir!


  • a young Pakistani
    May 1, 2012 - 1:25PM

    Play by rules or I will break them


  • Zaleem Singh
    May 1, 2012 - 1:31PM

    Careful with this person
    He is a ARMY general and dangerous man for Pakistan and ARMY ruled so many time so Pakistani Nation need to careful….…….


  • Roflcopter
    May 1, 2012 - 1:35PM

    It’s beyond sad that this makes for headline news in a supposed democracy.


  • iamtahir
    May 1, 2012 - 1:56PM

    Actually Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has warned all organs of the state when he says ” to adhere to their roles defined by the Constitution and stressed equal justice for all.” If institutions fail to listen his inherent mention, then the supporters of ” existing independent judiciary or pro Judicial martial law analysts ” will face disappoinment as military may resume his previous role to impose martial law. They have the power to make decisions and get implemented too unlike the superior courts. Every one should be clear that if constitution and article 6 could not stop them in past, then no judgement of the SC can prevent them. Those remain in fool’s world who think that SC has stopped the dictatorial rule by issuing order in Nov 3 case judgement.


  • Tigerdhaka
    May 1, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid, Karachi, Pakistan: What has this democracy given to people of pakistan anyway


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 1, 2012 - 2:09PM

    One should try to read the speech of General Kiyani time and again to understand as what he is saying in between the lines before making any comments.

    For me, it is very clear as what he mean to say.


  • biryani
    May 1, 2012 - 2:11PM

    true… democracy gives people like kiyani a chance to dictate terms and execute policies yet political leadership will be blamed…. its generals favorite system no doubt… lots of face saving


  • Ali S
    May 1, 2012 - 2:22PM

    @Ch Allah Daad:

    “Honest, patriot and visionary politicians” such as Nawaz Sharif and the late Shaheed Benazir Bhutto? Give me a break.


  • Zaheer
    May 1, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Is it any general’s role to give lectures on democracy to the nation? I would start to have faith in his unwarranted lecture if he comes out and says that Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharaf all disrespected and blatantly violated the constitution and deserve unqualified condemnation for going well beyond their constitutional roles. Kiyani almost sounds like he is doing the nation a favour by not taking over. Giving lectures to others is very easy and popular. The honest truth is that the international environment will not accept any military rule at the present time. Can anyone find even one other civilised country where a general comes out with a statement of political morals to elected governments?


  • Zaleem Singh
    May 1, 2012 - 2:35PM

    He need to put the Marsha law because this is the right time…


  • Faesal
    May 1, 2012 - 3:06PM

    you can see what a pathetic condition of this so called sham democracy is that Kayani has come up to support it.


  • Parvez
    May 1, 2012 - 3:15PM

    The army supports democracy…….. but does this democracy support the nation ?


  • Khan
    May 1, 2012 - 3:15PM

    @Zaleem Singh:
    We love our army and we always welcom them and we wl welcom again, democracy is only appropriate in west and america not for the sub cont where 70% of population r uneducated and where choudry, malik, sarda kind of people r going to the parliment,
    God bless PAK ARMY


  • Saleem
    May 1, 2012 - 3:46PM

    Who is the general trying to fool! He does not realise that over time people have become wiser and seen through the deception. Let us not forget that Mr Zia delared that he and his cronies had no political ambitions and that free and fair elections would be held in 90 days!Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 1, 2012 - 3:58PM

    Gen Kayani’s speech was remarkable for what it did NOT say on the occasion of the day remembering the martyrs. While he went on about ‘others’ (thinly veiled references to USA and NATO) not respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty etc – there was no mention of the clear and present enemy within out borders which has killed 40,000 of our compatriots (including thousands of Gen. Kayani’s jawans). While Salala was specifically mentioned, there was no mention of the atrocities and havoc unleashed on the Pakistani nation by the TTP and its associates. The martyrs’ sacrifices will go to waste if we fail to even name the enemy. How can this army fight them when they are so obsessed with confronting the whole world while staying in denial about the reality that festers inside our borders?


  • Omer
    May 1, 2012 - 4:31PM

    Democracy is not equal to corruption, feudalism, and thugs. If there is no country left because of our current leaders – PPP and PML N alike – there won’t be any democracy.


  • Umer
    May 1, 2012 - 4:47PM

    When an Army general issues such statements then what sort of democracy it is? Obviously the military is running this “democracy” and is not even trying to hide it.


  • Saleem Siddiqui
    May 1, 2012 - 5:37PM

    @Ch Allah Daad: Sir, Who are the honest politician in exile?


  • True Muslim Paki
    May 1, 2012 - 5:40PM

    The Generals and Politicians both brought the country to this stage that its always in ICU. The Polticians are Corrupt, the Generals are incapable which is why they lost every war they had fought. Both the politicians & the generals are sold & controlled by foreign powers.

    What we want is a true ISLAMIC STATE & we need establishment of Caliphate. We want the Sharia`h law imposed in its truest form. This will bring Glory to Pakistan & pride to every Pakistani. Recommend

  • hellodrsoul
    May 1, 2012 - 5:42PM

    More important than this democracy for a common man is judiciary. People has given a lot of sacrifices few years ago. Those are being wasted by this democracy. This so called democracy has opposed this judiciary from day 1 or even before that by opposing its restoration. This democracy has done nothing in all its 5 years except fighting a judiciary which was restored after hard work of the common people.


  • Umer
    May 1, 2012 - 5:45PM

    @True Muslim Paki:

    We want the Sharia`h law imposed in
    its truest form. This will bring Glory
    to Pakistan & pride to every

    How many countries do you know who impose Shariah and have glory at the same time? Advanced nations are mostly secular.


  • Hedgefunder
    May 1, 2012 - 6:10PM

    @True Muslim Paki:
    First start paying your taxes and than talk about Sharia Law ! Perhaps it will help this Country to manage better, rather than Beg.


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    May 1, 2012 - 6:47PM

    Yes,of course army supports democracy,but,there is a pun in this statement,”not Zardari–Gillani “.


  • m.b.f.h
    May 1, 2012 - 7:12PM

    In case, any of you didn't get it: This is a Bold Advice to SC & NS for stepping out of the "Constitutional" limits & Political decency, respectively__ to "Back Down"!

  • hamza khan
    May 1, 2012 - 8:32PM

    @Ashraf P:

    previous ‘military rule’ should be on the minds of citizens, because the ruler actually cared about the citizens, and didnt loot and plunder, provided jobs, economic progress, socio development, education. if you dont want those things, then you need a mental hospital.


  • Hedgefunder
    May 1, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @hamza khan:
    LOL !!! Yes, perhaps better option for ordinary man on street, as this version of democracy has been utter disaster from blatant corruption to complete disregard of Law & Order.


  • gp65
    May 2, 2012 - 7:41AM

    @Khan: “We love our army and we always welcom them and we wl welcom again, democracy is only appropriate in west and america not for the sub con”

    You say democracy is not appreciated in this subcontinent? Did you forget that India is also in this subcontinent?


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