SEP 6, 2018: There’s no such thing as civil-military tension in the country said PM Imran Khan on Thursday at a ceremony to commemorate Pakistan’s 53rd Defense Day and pay tribute to the martyrs of the 1965 war.
Khan Sahib accompanied by First Lady Bushra Imran was Chief Guest at the event held at the military’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Addressing the ceremony , PM Khan mentioned that Pakistan Army was the “only institution (in the country) that works on the basis of merit”.
“We will bring this meritocracy to all fields in the country in order to help us prosper as a nation,” the premier vowed.
The prime minister also mentioned that all fields in the country including agriculture will prosper once we develop a strong rule of law in the country.
PM Khan took advantage of the occasion to clarify that there was no such thing as civil-military tension, “there is one common goal, that is to solve the problems of this nation”. Germany and Japan rose after world wars because their institutions were strong, not corrupt, Khan Sahib added.
“This nation will rise when the poor man knows that his son is getting quality education on the state’s expense and that education will open opportunities for his son to achieve success in life. That is when the common man will want to become part of this system and own it,” the prime minister said.
“For the past three weeks, I have been seeing presentations on all the problems that this country is facing, and I can tell you this that we will become a nation and rise again. We can overcome these problems once we strengthen the rule of law in this country,” PM Khan said.
Going back to the history of Islam, PM Khan said that we need to look at the way Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) brought together different tribes to form a nation.
“We need to look back and see what Prophet (PBUH) did in order to bring those people together to form a nation so strong that they ruled the world for centuries.”
Army Chief General Bajwa who also addressed the event earlier, said “We have learned a lot from the wars of 65 and 71. We were able to further strengthen our defense forces in the wake of these wars. Despite difficult economic times, we were able to become an atomic power.
“Then began the period of non-traditional warfare. Over the past two decades, a wave of terrorism swept the world. The characteristics of war were forever changed. Unfortunately, Pakistan also found itself in the cross-hairs of this new war.
“Our armed forces and the entire nation have learned much during their service to Pakistan. Fear and terrorism were thrust upon us. Our homes, schools, places of worship, recreational sites and national institutions were attacked.
“Efforts were made to weaken and divide us from within. But I salute all the citizens of Pakistan and the ones safeguarding our nation who fought remarkably in these difficult times and stood against such elements.
“We have all successfully fought against this extremist narrative. In this war, more than 76,000 Pakistanis were martyred or injured. To remember these sacrifices we not only celebrate Defence Day but since 2014 also celebrate Martyr’s Day.
“We have sacrificed a lot but our job is not done. The war is still ongoing. We have yet to reach the pinnacle of peace. We have to make Pakistan reach a level where no one can look at us with an evil intent,” Gen Bajwa said in his stirring speech.
The army chief went on to say that for the country’s stability and progress, democracy is of utmost importance. “Democracy cannot blossom without observing the democratic traditions in true spirit and without the strengthening of institutions,” he maintained.
“We have set on this path ten years ago,” he said adding that: “Today we are more united and more resolute. This is a message that Pakistanis are not ones to fear any crisis and will soar to new heights soon.”
Prominent politicians including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto were also present along with senior military leadership.
The chiefs of Navy and Air Force also attended the ceremony along with several diplomats and ambassadors.
In addition, sports personalities including cricketers Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Abbas along with Olympian Shahbaz Senior and squash champion Jahangir Khan were seen among those attending.
Among those to host the event were Humayun Saeed, Maya Ali and Hareem Farooq.
Also in attendance were school children, family members of the martyrs and people from different walks of life, including parliamentarians, media representatives, celebrities and sportsmen.