RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has warned against efforts he said being made to discredit the country and its armed forces and said that army with the cooperation of the nation will win the “fifth generation or hybrid war”.

“We are facing the challenge that has been imposed on us in the form of the fifth generation or hybrid war. Its purpose is to discredit the country and its armed forces and spread chaos. We are well aware of this danger. We will surely succeed in winning this war with the cooperation of the nation, by the will of Almighty Allah,” Gen Bajwa said at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters on Sunday as part of celebration of Defence and Martyrs’ Day.

On the occasion, he conferred awards on military personnel for acts of gallantry during various operations.

The families of the martyrs and Ghazis, senior serving officers and soldiers attended the ceremony. As many as 40 officers were awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz (military), 24 officers and soldiers were awarded Tamgha-i-Basalat and a soldier was awarded the United Nations Medal. The medals of the martyrs were received by their family members.

Warns against efforts to discredit armed forces; rejects any unilateral decision on Kashmir issue

The army chief warned against war. “I want to send a message to my nation and the world that Pakistan is a peace-loving country. But if war is imposed on us, we will befittingly respond to every aggression. We are always ready to defeat nefarious intentions of the enemy.”

Gen Bajwa said the nation had gone through great trials during the past 20 years. There was a state of war on the eastern and western borders and there were trials like earthquakes and floods, he said, adding the nation fought a nerve-wracking war against terrorism and extremism in which thousands were killed and millions were displaced.

The COAS underlined that Pak­istani security forces had rendered many sacrifices for the establishment of peace in different parts of the world by becoming part of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

“We want peace in the whole world and especially in our region. Pakistan’s key role in peace efforts in Afghanistan is a testament to that, but our neighbour India has, as always, taken an irresponsible stance,” he said.

The army chief said that India by illegally abrogating the special status of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir had once again threatened the peace of the region.

He said there was no doubt that Kashmir was a recognised dispute and Pakistan did not accept any unilateral decision in this regard.

He said that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had declared Kashmir the jugular vein of Pakistan. “This is part of our faith. We will not show any flexibility in this regard.”

“Pakistan’s armed forces are fully equipped, vigilant and aware. And God willing, they are ready to respond immediately and with full force to any move of the enemy,” he said.

The army chief said that armed forces of Pakistan in September 1965 had defeated an enemy many times greater in might than it. He said that recently

Pakistan had again demonstrated this in response to the failed air strike at Balakot and the enemy should have no doubt about it.

He said Sept 6, 1965 was an indelible chapter in the history of Pakistan. “This is the day when countless stories of unity of the nation, love of homeland, sacrifice and bravery were marked in history.”

“It is not just a day for the nation but evidence to our courage and we also commemorate the martyrs of 1948, 1965, 1971, the Kargil War and the war on terror,” Gen Bajwa said.

He paid tribute to the families of the martyrs and said: “I salute them. I assure them that we will never forget the sacrifice of their loved ones. Our martyrs are our heroes and the nations that forget their heroes are annihilated.”

The COAS said that the entire nation was indebted to the patience and sacrifice of the families of the martyrs. “Just as the martyrs are the pride of the whole nation, so are you our pride,” he added.

The army chief congratulated the officers, junior commissioned officers and soldiers who received the awards at the ceremony.

“Time has tried us many times and we have succeeded every time. Pakistan is a living reality. Our blood, our passion and our actions will bear witness to this on every front,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2020