‘Cold start or hot start’: We’re ready, says Gen Raheel

Published: September 7, 2015
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(Clockwise) Gen Raheel addresses an event at GHQ to honour martyrs of the 1965 war. PAF Sherdils perform at an air show in Islamabad. Pakistan Marines and SSG(N) showcase their skills in Karachi.  PHOTO: ISPR

(Clockwise) Gen Raheel addresses an event at GHQ to honour martyrs of the 1965 war. PAF Sherdils perform at an air show in Islamabad. Pakistan Marines and SSG(N) showcase their skills in Karachi. PHOTO: ISPR

ISLAMABAD / QUETTA / MUZAFFARABAD / LAHORE / KARACHI: 

Declaring that India would have to pay a colossal price for any ‘misadventure’ against Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif made it clear on Sunday that the longstanding Kashmir dispute could no longer be put on the back burner.

Addressing an event held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to mark the golden jubilee anniversary of the 1965 Pakistan-India war, the army chief emphasised that Kashmir was an unfinished agenda of the subcontinent’s partition.

photo: pakistan navy

“The innocent people of Indian-occupied Kashmir are being subjected to injustices and atrocities for the past seven decades,” said Gen Raheel, adding that it should be clearly understood that enduring peace in the region would be impossible without a just resolution of the Kashmir issue. “The issue can no longer be put on the back burner. The time has come for resolving it in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiris and in accordance with the UN resolutions.”

Read: President, PM resolve to protect Pakistan

His statement came against the backdrop of the recent cancellation of the national security advisers’ meeting between Pakistan and India due to differences over the agenda of the talks. Pakistan wanted to discuss the Kashmir issue while India insisted that the NSA-level talks were meant only for issues related to terrorism. Gen Raheel’s statement, however, indicates that Pakistan is not going to budge from its position on Kashmir.

In what appeared to be a clear reference to the ongoing tension along the Line of Control and the working boundary, the army chief said: “If the enemy ever resorts to any misadventure, it will have to pay an unbearable cost regardless of its size and scale.”

Paying tributes to the martyrs and veterans of the 1965 war, Gen Raheel said the country’s valiant armed forces and the nation stood together to successfully defend and inflict a ‘humiliating defeat on the aggressor’. “It has been 50 years since September 6, 1965. Over this period, Pakistan has seen many ups and downs. I can say with a lot of conviction that today our country is much stronger, and the Pakistani nation is more resolute than ever before. Pakistan is capable of dealing with all kinds of internal and external threats, be it conventional or sub-conventional, cold start or hot start. We are ready!”

War on terror

The army chief also highlighted the internal security challenges, Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the targeted operations in Karachi and Balochistan. “Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched at a time when the forces of disorder were challenging the state of Pakistan. The country’s law and order situation was abysmal and deteriorating.”

photo: reuters

Describing the Army Public School Peshawar attack as ‘an inhuman and barbaric act of horrendous proportions’, Gen Raheel said the sacrifices of the slain children and the immense fortitude of their parents reinvigorated the national resolve against terrorism. “I can assure you that most of the terrorists involved in that incident have already been brought to justice.”

He said that to make the success comprehensive and enduring, all organs of the state would have to earnestly play their part to achieve the objectives of the National Action Plan in the shortest possible time.

He also said that through concerted civil-military efforts, a great deal of success had been achieved in establishing peace in Karachi and Balochistan.

He commended the Pakistani media for, according to the army chief, unmasking the real terrorists and, thus, playing a critical role in creating national consensus.

Afghan peace

In the backdrop of the current hiccup in the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the army chief said: “I must highlight that the aggravating security situation in Afghanistan is a point of serious concern. We have strong historical and blood ties with Afghanistan and no power on earth can disrupt this relationship.”

Read: Defence Day celebrations: Air show thrills spectators

He said Pakistan made concerted and sincere efforts for bringing peace in Afghanistan but certain inimical forces were bent upon undermining the efforts. “Allah willing their nefarious designs will never succeed.”

In an apparent reference to the recent criticism by Afghanistan and the US that Pakistan was not doing enough against certain militant groups, Gen Raheel said: “We hope that the international community acknowledges our extreme sacrifices and assists us in this endeavour without prejudice.”

Trade corridor

The army chief said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was of importance not just for Pakistan but for the entire region. “Its completion is a national obligation, and the armed forces of Pakistan will play their part in bringing this project to fruition.”

Defence Day celebrations

Defence Day was commemorated with traditional zeal and fervour across the country, with a number of ceremonies and functions organised to pay homage to the martyrs and survivors of the 1965 war.

In Karachi the day started with the change of guard ceremony at Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum. Around 75 cadets of the Pakistan Air Force Academy Risalpur assumed their new responsibilities. Air Vice Marshal Asim Zaheer was the chief guest of the occasion.

In the evening the Pakistan Navy held an event at Sea View, where Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad was the chief guest. The troops conducted paradrop and counterterrorism exercises. An impressive search-and-rescue drill, as well as a flypast, was carried out. The programme closed with a stunning display of fireworks. Special parade and flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at PNS Karsaz and Malir Cantonment.

Moreover, an aircraft exhibition was held at the PAF Base Masroor. The chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, said on the occasion: “We are a resilient nation, which has always proved its worth in difficult times, whether in natural calamities or an imposed armed conflict, as in 1965. Though we are a peace-loving nation, we know how to thwart the heinous attempts that disrupt our peaceful way of life.”

Meanwhile, in Lahore the Pakistan Army organised a ceremony at the Fortress Stadium that kicked off with a march past by army and Rangers troops. A ceremony was also organised at the Wagah border, where hundreds of participants cheered at the flag-hoisting ceremony, and a change of guard ceremony was held at the Mazar-e-Iqbal.

Defence Day was also observed across Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The main function was held in Neelum Army Stadium, where Rawalpindi Corps Commander Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said the troops’ sacrifices were the real source of inspiration for the army to defend the motherland. “We also salute the Kashmiri martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for a noble cause.”

Moreover, a minute of silence was observed at ceremonies in various parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while at an event in the Ayub Stadium Quetta, PAF pilots performed aerobatics as an exhibition of aircraft, tanks and different defence equipment was also held.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th,  2015.

 

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Mac
    Sep 7, 2015 - 9:59AM

    Good…but why running to UN to complaint about India firing ?Recommend

  • Sameer
    Sep 7, 2015 - 10:04AM

    India captured siachin in 84, but what happened to your Gibraltar, grand slam and Kargil operations to capture Kashmir?Recommend

  • Nauman Ghauri
    Sep 7, 2015 - 10:11AM

    A Genuine Traditional Pakistani General,
    The General speaks through his Baton!
    He is a Man!Recommend

  • nawaz
    Sep 7, 2015 - 10:21AM

    Not even a single comment yet. Something went deeply wrong.Recommend

  • ghazal
    Sep 7, 2015 - 10:35AM

    The way India paid in 1965 or 1971??????Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Sep 7, 2015 - 10:38AM

    Much the best,august and excellent speech in the clear and loud words given by COAS on the occasion of 50th defence’s day at GHQ Rawalpindi and an open message for India but actually as the brave,courageous and loyal PM Nawaz Sharif had to give the this speech as Indian PM Modi gives against Pakistan.I salute COAS and pray to Allah Almighty for his success in his missionRecommend

  • Saleem
    Sep 7, 2015 - 11:04AM

    Salute ! I believe current partnership of two Sharifs are a blessing for Pakistan after a long time. It is this partnership that can bring the ongoing major steps to completion !Recommend

  • Rahul
    Sep 7, 2015 - 11:08AM

    Someone needs to remind Pak Army Chief that Pakistan is running on loan from IMF.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Sep 7, 2015 - 11:41AM

    Pakistan is and was always ready …. whether it is 1948, 1965, 1971, 1984, 1999, 2011 (OBL Operation) or during Drone strikes … ? Recommend

  • LOL
    Sep 7, 2015 - 12:46PM

    @Rahul: Looks like you already forgot recent news about India being the largest recipient of US and UK aid.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/India-top-recipient-of-US-economic-aid/articleshow/48093123.cms

    LOOL Rahul. Think before you speak.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 7, 2015 - 1:16PM

    I hope what gen Raheel said he will uphold that because apart from chest thumping we know very well that any serious confrontation with India will go out of control in just 2 days that pakistan cannot control and 2014 shows it,Let see how you responds to cold start or hot start!Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 7, 2015 - 1:24PM

    I hope what gen Raheel said he will uphold that because apart from chest thumping we know very well that any serious confrontation with India will go out of control in just 2 days that pakistan cannot control and 2014 shows it,Let see how you responds to cold start or hot start because similar statement were also issued by you just after Modi become PM and you started testing Modi in LOC but India went for total offensive after that.And i remember after India went for total offensive in 2014 all the rhetoric earlier made by PML-N and other political parties and army leadership went silent and no one was ready to issue any more provocative statement then so as not to further anger India.2014 is worst in pakistans LOC history where pakistan went to UN to request them to covince India to stop shelling.Things went that bad in 2014 that literally shows how vulnerable pakistan was and can become in just 2 days if India decides to went to all out assault.So i can only request please don’t give statements that you cannot uphold unto.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Sep 7, 2015 - 1:27PM

    Well talking aggressive is Good… but please show same aggressive gesture on ground when indian firing happensRecommend

  • Rahul
    Sep 7, 2015 - 1:31PM

    @LOL .. I think you dont know the difference here. India has got aid which it doesnt ask,even India has asked British not give aid because India itself has given aid (1bn+ to afg;500mn to nepal).India has 350Bn forex reserves.We dont beg to IMF/China for aid,like your country.Recommend

  • ROFL
    Sep 7, 2015 - 1:46PM

    @LOL… hahaha but Indian economy doesn’t survive on loans n aid….. our 375 billion dollars forex reserve is 20 times higher than your 18 billion forex reserve…..
    and U.S. U.K. aid goes to foreign NGO’s n missionaries working in India, who interfere govt projects, but Modi govt has started banning these foreign NGOs , recently we banned one of biggest NGO Green peace and going to ban more foreign NGOs
    http://wap.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/govt-cancels-licences-of-nearly-9-000-ngos-115042701086_1.htmlRecommend

  • JSM
    Sep 7, 2015 - 3:04PM

    @ROFL:
    There is a difference. While India was the biggest per capital recipient of aid, Pakistan was the biggest per capita recipient of dole., I hope you understand the difference.Recommend

  • Gruham
    Sep 8, 2015 - 1:46PM

    @LOL:
    Pakistan got $12.9 billion in military assistance from the US compared to India receiving $897 million military assistance. Going by the size of the two armies and their equipment vs assistance received, looks like the Pakistani army salaries are also paid by the US.Recommend

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