LOC /ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister Imran khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the Line of Control on Friday, when Pakistan marked the Defence and Martyrs Day as the day of solidarity with Kashmiris.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Chairman Kashmir Committee Syed Fakhar Imam accompanied the PM.

The prime minister was briefed on the ongoing situation on LOC, the de facto boundary that separates Azad Jammu and Kashmir from Indian occupied part of Kashmir state. The PM met with local victims of Indian ceasefire violations. Later, he also interacted with troops.

Prime Minister Khan lauded the state of readiness, effective response to Indian acts of aggression and high morale of the troops.

Talking to families of the martyrs and the injured, he lauded their resilience. He said that Indian deliberate targeting of unarmed civilians in AJK and continued siege of innocent Kashmiris in IOK are worst examples of the human rights violations. The premier reiterated that Pakistan firmly stands with Kashmiris for their right of self determination. He said that while “our current efforts are to expose fascist Indian regime to the world, our Armed Forces remain fully capable and prepared to thwart any Indian misadventure or aggression”.

COAS address

Addressing a ceremony held on the Defence and Martyrs Day at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa emphatically stated that Pakistan’s armed forces have not and will not hesitate from offering any sacrifice for the defence of the motherland.

The COAS said a peaceful, strong and prosperous Pakistan “is our destination and we are steadfastly moving towards that end”. He said the country’s armed forces ensured security of the motherland by rendering sacrifices both in the conventional war and the fight against terrorism.

He pointed out that Pakistan registered unparalleled successes in the war against terrorism which is an example for the whole world. “Our soldiers stood like a rock wall in this long war against terrorists and foiled the nefarious designs of the enemy. They sacrificed their today for our better tomorrow,” he said.

He was of the view that Pakistan has fulfilled its responsibilities in the war on terrorism and now responsibility rests with the world community to fulfil its responsibility and reject all forms of terrorism and extremism.

General Bajwa said now there is a better security environment in Pakistan and the country gives the message of peace and security to the world. He said our fight now is against poverty, unemployment and economic backwardness following successfully confronting the menace of terrorism.

Paying tributes to the martyrs and Ghazis, the army chief said the entire nation is proud of their courage and resolve. He said these sacrifices and courage and resolve of the entire nation is the guarantee of bright future of Pakistan.

On Kashmir, the COAS voiced serious concerns over the prevailing situation in the occupied valley. He said Kashmiri population is the victim of the oppression and tyranny of India’s Hindutava government. He said state terrorism is on surge in the held valley.

He categorically stated that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the completion of Pakistan and it will remain so until the outstanding dispute is resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people.

General Bajwa assured the Kashmiri people that Pakistan will not leave them alone or at the mercy of circumstances. He said the hearts of both Pakistanis and Kashmiris beat together. He said Pakistan is a peace-loving country but the tyranny unleashed against Kashmiri people is a test of our patience.

He said the valiant people and armed forces of Pakistan are ready to sacrifice anything for their Kashmiri brethern. “Kashmir is our jugular vein. We will fulfil our commitment towards Kashmir till last bullet, soldier and breath,” he added. He said Pakistan will go to any extent in support of oppressed Kashmiri people.

The army chief said Pakistan has played a very positive role for regional peace and stability. He said Pakistan has strived for peace and stability in Afghanistan and will continue these efforts in future as well. He said that our complete cooperation in the ongoing Afghan reconciliation process reflects our mindset. He said Pakistan has always supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Earlier, General Bajwa laid the floral wreath at the martyrs monument. Bereaved families of the martyrs also attended the ceremony.