‘We gained freedom after great struggle, know how to defend it’: COAS

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir on Monday while addressing, the Azadi, Parade at Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul ardently said, “We gained freedom after a great struggle and we know how to defend it.”

The Army Chief in his address at the PMA, Kakul, Azadi, Parade held in connection with the 76th Independence Day felicitated the nation on its over seven decades of freedom and appreciated the smartly turned out soldiers for expressing their professional skills on the occasion.

General Asim Munir said, “I wish to congratulate you all on completion of 76 years of Independence, and for celebrating 14th August with the glorious tradition of an immaculate and inspiring Parade at Pakistan Military Academy. Alongside the national fervor of rejoicing this day, every year, 14th August brings back to us an opportunity for the revival of pledge, for total commitment and unflinching resolve, for a bright future of our motherland.”

He while addressing the PMA cadets said, “You all stand tonight to honour ‘Independence’, which came as a result of the vision of our great leaders, and the relentless efforts and sacrifices of our forefathers. This day reminds us of the spirit behind the creation of this country, “Pakistan ka matlab kia – La illaha Illalah” which was rooted in the ideology of the Two Nation Theory, and the manifest destiny of the Muslims of Sub Continent”.

For 76 years, he said that nation had maintained this tradition of celebrating freedom, equality and quest for happiness, which it must continue to cherish, every day of our lives.

The COAS underlined that the parade was convened here to reinforce the patriotic spirit of serving our homeland, a land of countless opportunities and immeasurable bounties.

“Our great country and the nation will ‘Inshallah’ continue to rise, in line with the aspirations of our forefathers, the people of Pakistan and for a bright future of the coming generations,” he said.

The country was passing through interesting times, a watershed era, fraught with challenges, geo-political wrangling, increasing power contestation, hegemonism and jingoism, the Army Chief remarked.

He stated, “We continue to withstand the evil designs of the inimical forces; forces of instability and chaos, which are eager in their failed attempts to undo Pakistan.”

Let me caution them (country enemies) all, he said in the words of our great Quaid, “There is no power on earth, which can undo Pakistan” – Inshallah. We have fought for a long with our external and internal enemies, and we will fight for as long as required in future as well.

The Army Chief reiterated that as he had said on a number of occasions the nation had the will, capacity and capability to withstand all challenges, whether external or internal.

“I stand here tonight, not to define these challenges being confronted, but to give a message of Hope to our great nation. I am here to reassure the people, that we the defenders of Pakistan, will never hesitate from any sacrifice in preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Wherever required, we shall contribute towards the Comprehensive National Security of Pakistan and the national development efforts. Pakistan Army as a National Army, takes pride in its unwavering commitment to the people of Pakistan. Attempts to drive a wedge between Army and Nation are reprehensible, and will never succeed – Afwaj-e-Pakistan aur Awam aik hain! (Armed Forces of Pakistan and nation are one).”

The COAS said our great country is gifted with countless blessings stretching from the Himalayas to the Coastal Belt, from Rocky Mountains on the West to the green pastures, alluvial plains and the expansive deserts in the East, which are all rich with natural endowments and great opportunities.

He highlighted that the country had a vibrant nation of over 240 million, with bulk comprising aspiring and hardworking youth. “All we need is to follow the principles of Faith, Unity and Discipline. Faith in Allah and our abilities to rise against all odds, while never giving into distractions; Unity in our efforts; and the desired Discipline of channelizing our energies towards the right direction of peace, prosperity and development,” General Asim Munir said.

He urged the nation to reject despondency, propaganda of naysayers and fear mongers, who were wagging a failed attempt to foment despair and hopelessness.

This great country and the nation has withstood many such challenges during its creation and thereafter, he mentioned.

He added that no country or nation on earth had ever met success without such challenges coming their way.

Referring to the verses of Holy Quran, he said Allah also reminds us in Surah Al-Imran (Ayat 139)
“Fear Not, Worry Not, and you will be superior in victory if you are indeed believers. In Surah Anqaboot (Ayat 2) Allah Says:
Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?
And in Surah Al-Baqarah (Ayat 214) Allah Says: They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger (MPBUH) and those of faith who were with him cried, “When (will come) the help of Allah?” Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!”

For Kashmiris, he said to my Kashmiri Brethren, I would say that Inshallah you will also get free from the clutches of brutal occupation forces, as we got our freedom 76 years ago, through your rightful cause of self-determination and indigenous freedom struggle.

No evil design can withstand the determination of the Kashmiri people, despite the communication blackouts, blatant use of the bayonets and turning Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into the largest prison in the world, he added.

“It is for the conscience of international community to realize, that Indian excesses in Kashmir have gone unaddressed and right to freedom and self-determination is being denied at the altar of geo-political necessity. To all Kashmiris, I reiterate the assurance and full backing of your brothers in arms and the complete Pakistani nation,” the COAS said.

To our brothers of Khyber Pakhtunka and Balochistan, who are resiliently fighting against the savages of terrorism and proxies for over 2 decades, he said the Armed Forces wanted to reassure, that we would inshallah succeed against this menace being waged against us. “We want you to live in peace, and progress in line with the aspirations of the people,” he said.

For India, he said to our neighbor, who has never been able to reconcile with the idea of Pakistan and is a threat to regional peace and stability, “I must say that we gained freedom after a great struggle and we know how to defend it!.”

The strategic calculus of our arch rival, skewed by its outsized ambition, carrying an illusion of being a great power and blinded by Hindutva driven hyper nationalism, needs serious attention of the world, he underscored.

“We will never be coerced by any aggressive designs, and neither can the region afford such hostility amongst two nuclear powers. Unfortunately, the adversary continues to peddle its nefarious designs against us for petty political mileage; I would humbly remind them of their predicament, last time they tried to do so,” he said.

With respect to our Afghan brother, he said, “We have been the most hospitable nation and wish that they reciprocate our earnest efforts to the least, and not allow their soil to be used against us.”

The country was making great strides in partnership and cooperation with its time-tested friend China and had reinvigorated a new spirit in its historic relations with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Turkiye, State of Qatar and Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Pakistan is determined to rise amongst the comity of nations, and we wish to deepen our relationships with all our friends and partners. We have a very bright future that lay ahead of us, provided we remain united, steadfast and undeterred,” he said.

Addressing the cadets, the Army Chief said, “I commend you all on this immaculate display of drill on Independence Day. You have chosen a noble profession entrusted with the sacred duty of defending Pakistan against its enemies; within and without, visible and invisible. Always be ready for any sacrifice to uphold the honor and dignity of this country.”

He concluded with his message of hope for the people of all ages, gender, creed or cast. “We are Pakistanis first and foremost, and we are all proud of our country and this great nation. We must stand united and rise above self to serve Pakistan in whatever ways it demands of us.”

“Always remember, Pakistan is our identity, and the rationale to exist -– Pakistan hai, to hum hain! (If Pakistan is then we also exist)”
He ended with couplet of Dr Allam Mohammad Iqbal saying, “A man alone is nothing but powerful when united as a nation like a wave outside the ocean which is weak but is extremely vehement when inside the deep water”.