QUETTA - Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has categorically stated that Pakistan Army is not conducting any military operation in any part of Balochistan.

He said a prosperous Balochistan is the guarantee to a stronger Pakistan and Pak Army is busy in promotion of quality education, restoration of peace and economic development in the province.

Addressing a passing out parade in Military College Sui (MCS) in Dera Bugti district on Friday, Gen Kayani however reiterated his commitment to restoration of peace in the province. He said that army would make available all possible assistance to ensure security and complete cooperation for the improvement of law and order situation in the province.

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, FC IG Major General Ejaz Shahid, Commandant MCS Brigadier Imranul Haq, MPA Sarfarz Bugti and Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad were are also present on the occasion.

The army chief said it was not a coincidence that he is celebrating the National Defence Day in the Sui town but an expression of the importance and honour which the army gives to Balochistan. He said that projects of development of mineral resources and qualitative education running under the management of army are source of durable development.

He said the Pakistan Army established Chamalang Education Programme, Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences and Army Institute of Mineralogy and various other institutions in Balochistan. He said around 4,000 young people benefited from the Chamalang programme.

“We wish that children of Balochistan don’t only serve as mine workers but they gain higher posts by getting a better education... The purpose of establishing army school for minerals is to make partner the youth of Balochistan in mineral resources,” the COAS said. He said that the decision of cancelling the construction of military cantonment was being implemented and instead of it a qualitative educational institution was now being established.

The COAS said the development projects from Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Sibi and Rakhni are the proof of the Army’s cooperation. He said the army will also cooperate in the completion of Gwadar-Rato Dero road. He said the army was also extending cooperation for providing modern weapons to the Balochistan police. “Balochistan’s development is Pakistan’s development.”

Gen Kayani said Balochistan had been given special relaxation in recruitment and its right was given in accordance with the proposition of population. He said that under Chamalang Education Program, 20,000 children and youth are getting educated at army and FC institutions.

He said that 600 Baloch children and youth under supervision of army are getting education in institutions of higher education and during past five years, 2,000 candidates have been selected for ISSB training. He said that 760 Baloch officers and 329 youth have been selected officers in PMA. Until 2007 the presence of Balochistan youth in Pak Army was only 1.7 per cent which has now increased to 3.5 per cent. Around 12,000 youth of Balochistan have joined army in last three years alone, he added.

The army chief said that Sui Military College is materialisation of ‘our dream’. He added that the collage set up two and half year back aims at bringing the light of education to Balochistan so that the youth of the province could be brought in national mainstream and they could play their role in national progress. “Our destination is not far away and the future of this college is bright,” he said.

The COAS informed that the first military college in the areas of present-day Pakistan was established 88 years ago in Jehlum, where he himself remained a student, but during past two years, two military colleges have been established in Marri and Sui. The establishment of Sui military college was difficult due to some hurdles, but the performance of the college despite the difficulties was a matter of proud.

He recalled that in 2011, under management of Pak Army, Quetta Medical College was set up where every year 100 students are enrolled; whereas, previously 50 students were getting medical education at Bolan Medical College. Earlier, the army chief distributed prizes among the students who got distinction.

Earlier in his Defence Day message, General Kayani said that the country needed the same spirit which was exhibited by the entire galvanised nation in the year 1965. He said that September 6 signifies a milestone in the history of the motherland, when Pakistani soldiers wrote a new history of bravery and sacrifice by defending the country against the aggression of an army much larger in size and number. “We are a living nation, which knows how to defend its country and the enemy cannot cast an evil eye on Pakistan, if the nation remains united.”