ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that Pakistan is ready to cooperate with Afghan and the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan in fighting terrorism provided its security concerns are duly addressed.

“We will take the war imposed on us to its logical conclusion,” General Bajwa said while addressing the central ceremony of Defence and Martyrs Day held at the GHQ Rawalpindi to pay tribute to the national heroes including the heroes of 1965 and 1971 wars.

The army chief said that the world powers should not blame Pakistan for their own failures. “Rather they should support us in this war,” he said adding Pakistan has rendered sacrifices more than that of any other country of the world.

“Despite all our efforts, our countless sacrifices and over two decades of war, we are being told that we have not done enough against terrorism,” he said and added if Pakistan has not done enough in this war, then no country in the world has done anything against terrorism.

Referring to the achievements Pakistan had made in the war against terror, he said that only Pakistan has seen this level of success with such limited resources. From the Operation Sher Dil to Rah-i-Rast, Rah-i-Nijat, Zarb-i-Azab and now Radd-ul-Fasaad, “we have paid for each inch of gains with our blood.”

Without naming the United States, he said that now the world powers must do more and added that Pakistan does not want aid but want respect and confidence.

While referring to the India allegations of infiltrations from Pakistani side into the Indian held Kashmir, the army chief said that the indigenous movement across the Line of Control (LoC) is not dependent on Pakistan.

He vowed to continue Pakistan’s moral, diplomatic and political support to the people of Indian-held Kashmir in their struggle for the right to self-determination as per the UN resolutions.

He asked India to stop targeting innocent people living on this side of LoC.

The army chief vowed to make Pakistan a cradle of peace and for this cooperation of the entire nation is necessary to overcome the menace of terrorism completely.

“Let us create a Pakistan where the use of strength is in accordance with the law and Constitution and is in the hands of the state.”

“I would like to tell misguided people that whatever you are doing is not jihad but fasaad. Your country and your people are being hurt the most by your actions,” he warned.

He went on to say that not only is the entire country paying the price of the fire of you has set, but our enemies are also taking advantage of the situation. “A use force should only be the prerogative of the state”, he added.

“For our complete success in the war against terrorism, we need the nation’s passion and cooperation,” he told the audience.

He noted that although the army can end terrorism, to gain control over terrorism and extremism it is necessary that every citizen is a soldier of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

He said that the war against terrorism is also an ideological war. “We are proud of both, the green and the white of our flag. Our beliefs, our faith and our traditions don’t need a stamp of approval from anyone. National unity is the need of the hour, and we will not tolerate anyone shaking our foundations on the basis of religious, sectarian or caste differences.”

General Bajwa laid a wreath on a monument paying tribute to martyrs of the armed forces prior to his address.

The ceremony was attended by Speaker National Assembly, ministers, parliament members, services chiefs, ambassadors and military attaches of various countries, retired senior military and civil officers and families of the martyrs.

Actors Sheheryar Munawar and Sana Javed were among the celebrities who hosted the ceremony. Anchorpersons Farooq Hassan and Sadia Afzal also hosted the event.

Singer Atif Aslam opened the ceremony with a patriotic song, as a video paying tribute to the armed forces played in the background.

A short film showing the families of martyred soldiers remembering their sons left members of the audience in tears. Activist and motivational speaker Muniba Mazari also spoke at the ceremony.

Other entertainers also took the stage as the night progressed, and a series of short films and videos was shown to the audience. A march-past also took place before the army chief took to the stage.

Earlier in the day, Defence Day of Pakistan was commemorated with traditional fervour and solemnity across the country, beginning with special prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Change of guard ceremonies were held at the mausoleums of Allama Iqbal in Lahore and Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi, and a ceremony at the Pakistan Navy headquarters in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif reached Lahore’s Miani Sahib Graveyard, where he laid a floral wreath on the grave of his brother Maj Shabbir Sharif who lost his life during the 1971 war on December 6 in the Sulemanki Sector.

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of you has set, but our enemies are also taking advantage of the situation. “A use force should only be the prerogative of the state”, he added.

“For our complete success in the war against terrorism, we need the nation’s passion and cooperation,” he told the audience.

He noted that although the army can end terrorism, to gain control over terrorism and extremism it is necessary that every citizen is a soldier of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

He said that the war against terrorism is also an ideological war. “We are proud of both, the green and the white of our flag. Our beliefs, our faith and our traditions don’t need a stamp of approval from anyone. National unity is the need of the hour, and we will not tolerate anyone shaking our foundations on the basis of religious, sectarian or caste differences.”

General Bajwa laid a wreath on a monument paying tribute to martyrs of the armed forces prior to his address.

The ceremony was attended by Speaker National Assembly, ministers, parliament members, services chiefs, ambassadors and military attaches of various countries, retired senior military and civil officers and families of the martyrs.

Actors Sheheryar Munawar and Sana Javed were among the celebrities who hosted the ceremony. Anchorpersons Farooq Hassan and Sadia Afzal also hosted the event.

Singer Atif Aslam opened the ceremony with a patriotic song, as a video paying tribute to the armed forces played in the background.

A short film showing the families of martyred soldiers remembering their sons left members of the audience in tears. Activist and motivational speaker Muniba Mazari also spoke at the ceremony.

Other entertainers also took the stage as the night progressed, and a series of short films and videos was shown to the audience. A march-past also took place before the army chief took to the stage.

Earlier in the day, Defence Day of Pakistan was commemorated with traditional fervour and solemnity across the country, beginning with special prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Change of guard ceremonies were held at the mausoleums of Allama Iqbal in Lahore and Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi, and a ceremony at the Pakistan Navy headquarters in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif reached Lahore’s Miani Sahib Graveyard, where he laid a floral wreath on the grave of his brother Maj Shabbir Sharif who lost his life during the 1971 war on December 6 in the Sulemanki Sector.