KAKUL - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday that the route to peaceful resolution of Pak-India disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir ran through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue.

“While such dialogue is no favour to any party, it remains the inevitable precursor to peace across the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour,” he said while addressing the passing out parade of 137th PMA Long Course, 8th Mujahid Course and 56th Integrated Course here at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.

The COAS said that Pakistan was a peace-loving country and it sought harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, especially its neighbours. “However, this desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness. Our valiant armed forces are Alhamdulillah fully prepared to respond across the full spectrum of threat in a befitting manner,” he said.

“I also take this opportunity to express our complete political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Those peace-loving innocent citizens are being subjected to one of the worst form of state terrorism,” the army chief said.

He said it was high time for the world community to wake up and play its positive role to bring peace to that unfortunate part of the Sub-Continent.

He said Pakistan was also committed to peace and intra-Afghan reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan at all bilateral and multilateral forums. “We sincerely believe that there will be no peace in Pakistan, if there is no peace in Afghanistan. Our peace is linked, therefore, we must work in unison with our Afghan brothers to achieve this goal.

“Moreover, we have done our part to cleanse Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism and extremism without any distinction and our efforts have started to bear results. We are committed to continue these efforts, not out of any compulsion, but to make Pakistan a safe, prosperous and progressive country,” he added.

General Bajwa said Pakistan armed forces were the custodians and upholders of this resolve - a resolve that was evident in the sacrifices of young men and officers. He called upon all the stakeholders within the region and beyond to let give peace a chance.

He said Pakistan had totally rejected extremism and terrorism. “We also refuse to be pulled asunder on issues of sect, ethnicity, caste or creed,” he said.

He said the diversity of Pakistan was its strength stating, “The very resilience of Pakistan comes, not just from our military capacity, but from the synergetic mix of a people who have come together, willingly towards a single purpose.”

He said Pakistan’s enemies knew that they could not beat it fair and square and had thus subjected it to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war. “They are trying to weaken our resolve by weakening us from within. Had it been any nation than ours, it would have disintegrated by now. But since we enjoy complete confidence and support of our nation, we have defeated every move of these inimical forces and will Insha’ALLAH, continue to do so,” he added.

He reiterated that Pakistani nation and its armed forces were totally united and focused towards their primary objective of eradication and elimination of terrorism. As a result of past and ongoing operations, he said Pakistan had eliminated almost all organised terrorist presence and infrastructure from its soil. “We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under the banner of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.”

He said Radd-ul-Fasaad was not merely an operation; it was a concept, a resolve and a commitment of the nation to eradicate tumult from its soil. “Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is guided by our collective resolve and belief that we will neither tire nor relent until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil.

Moreover, we are committed not to allow our soil to be used against any other country,” he added.

Gen Bajwa expressed the pleasure to witness the Passing-out Parade as its Reviewing Officer. He complimented Commandant PMA General Akhtar Nawaz Satti and his team for doing the job well.

He also congratulated the cadets and conveyed his heartiest felicitations to their parents. “Today, indeed, marks the most cherished moment in your life. You have proved yourselves worthy of a noble, yet a very demanding profession. You deserve utmost appreciation and admiration for your impressive performance. Today is the start of your careers in one of the most distinguished and battle-hardened army of the world,” he said.

“In this parade, we also have cadets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who have earned their well-deserved commission today. I extend my heartiest felicitations to these cadets and wish them all the success for their future assignments.”

Speaking about the future role and responsibilities of the cadets, he said their training so far was focused on transforming the raw youth into a gentleman. “But from now onwards, the actual period of professional training starts, along with honing of your leadership skills – You will hit the ground running and will soon be testing your mettle with the best of the bests.”

He said learning was a continuous process. He said modern warfare was an exceedingly vast and complex domain, which demanded thorough knowledge and ingenuity. “You are being commissioned in Pakistan Army at a time when Pakistan is facing enormous challenges both in conventional and sub-conventional domains. You will be operating in a high-tech battlefield environment, involving inventions and innovations offered by science and technology.

“The future wars and challenges will put your abilities to test in upholding and carrying forward the fine traditions of this great institution to the hilt. I have full confidence that you will stand the test of times,” he said.

He told the cadets that the present concept of command and leadership was more demanding than ever. “Leading your men in complex future operations requires you to be at your very best. As officers in the Army, you will lead some of the finest and most motivated soldiers in the world. Your conduct and professionalism will be observed and followed by them. Therefore, set personal examples and always lead from the front. Please remember, the officer corps never says ‘Advance’, they always say ‘Follow Me,” he said.

He advised them to also remember to retain the element of compassion in their conduct. “In the heat of operations, your men should look upon you more as a leader than a commander, if you truly want to earn their unmitigated loyalty and respect,” he added.

“Towards the fag end of my 40 years of military service, it is my earnest desire and effort that Pakistan, these young men inherit, when they are in leadership positions, is the Pakistan we all dreamed of – a stable, confident, happy and secure. It is, therefore, our right and duty to strive for such a country.”

As many as 31 cadets from FATA, 67 cadets from Balochistan and six Allied cadets from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were among passing out cadets.