Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Saturday that the army fully supported the dialogue process initiated by the national leadership to tackle the menace of terrorism.
Addressing the passing out parade of 128th Long Course here in Abbottabad at the Pakistan Military Academy, he said that terrorism was a big challenge, and the national leadership and the nation had to decide ways and means of the dialogue process, which were becoming more clear with the process moving ahead. The army chief said that it was imperative that the dialogue process should forge unity among the nation instead of creating any division and it must be within the constitutional parameters.
He said that the impression that the course of dialogue had been adopted after the failure of military operations, was totally wrong. The Pakistan Army has given matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism and achieved major successes against the menace, he added.
General Kayani said that the use of power would be the last resort. “If needed, the army is fully prepared for its effective use. There is no confusion among the army to understand and play its role in both the situations.”
Pakistan, he said, was passing through a critical and difficult phase and the military leadership must play its role for strengthening of the democratic system. The entire nation has to play its role for the resolution of the country’s problems, he added.
Terming terrorism a big challenge for the nation, he said it was not only contrary to the country’s ideology but also the teachings of Islam.
Gen Kayani said that the Pakistan Army had played its role against terrorism in a very difficult situation. “We should remember those days when armed groups were just 100 kilometers away from Islamabad. When men and women were being slaughtered in the Bazaars and the Green Chowk of Mingora was called as a “Khooni Chowk”. Roads were deserted while business, houses, economy went into the hands of criminals.”
In these situations, the efforts and sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan Army have no parallel in the present war history, he added.
Quoting the example of Swat to understand the reality, he said that more than two million people were made homeless but the army took them back to their houses.
“We purged Swat of the militants through a swift and effective military operation and two million people returned to their homes in four months. Today there is complete peace in Swat and the people of Swat are witness to this reality,” he added.