ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that under the circumstances, both Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot afford any kind of unrest and anarchy.

“We were together and will remain together. Unity and harmony is need of the hour,” he said and termed the fence along Pak-Afghan border as a symbol of peace. “We are striving to leave behind a strong, secure and prosperous Pakistan for the next generations,” he added.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate, the Pak Army Chief visited Upper Dir Malakand Division where Corps Commander Peshawar Lt General Nouman Mahmood received him.

During the visit, the COAS was briefed on the stabilisation operations and the border management. According to the ISPR, the COAS appreciated the troops for border fencing in the hilly terrain. He said that securing borders and border management system are reflective of Pakistan’s efforts for peace. He paid tributes to the troops for their contribution in maintaining peace in the area.

He also asked the troops to remain vigilant in wake of the recent activities by the terrorists in the area. Terming the fence along the Pak-Afghan border a symbol of peace, the COAS said it has been erected to minimise the movement of terrorists from across the border and vice-versa. 

The COAS also visited Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and inquired about the health of the students of a seminary who were injured in a bomb blast on Tuesday. 

While speaking at this occasion, the COAS said that on 16 December 2014, innocent children were targeted in the APS Peshawar. “On the occasion of Kashmir Black Day on 27 October, the enemy once again targeted innocent children to accomplish its nefarious designs,” the ISPR quoted the COAS as saying on this occasion. The COAS said that the victims of the blast include a large number of children of Afghan refugees. The Army Chief said that whole of the nation had then rejected the narrative of terrorists and displayed exemplary unity and added, “We are one even now.” He said whole of the nation is united in the moment of grief and joy.

He said, “We will not take backseat till we take terrorists and their facilitators to the task.” General Bajwa said he came to express solidarity and commitment, especially to share grief of the seminary students, teachers and their families.

He said both Pakistan and Afghanistan had been victim to terrorism in the past two decades. He said that Pakistan opened its doors and hearts for Afghan refugees and added that Pakistani nation always shared joy and sorrow with the Afghan brethren. He said that peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan is linked to each other and added terrorism has no religion. He also vowed to extend full cooperation to the Afghan government for achieving peace in the neighbouring country.

“Their [terrorists] ideology is to spread terror and fear in community,” he observed. He also asked the Afghan refugees and people to be aware of enemy forces so that they are not used in any act of terrorism.

Speaking on the occasion, General Bajwa further said that attack on a religious seminary is tantamount to attack on Islam. He said that Madaris, mosques, Imam Bargahs, churches, temples, educational institutions, law-enforcement agencies and innocent citizens are on the hit list of terrorists.