No bargaining on State’s writ, Gen Sharif tells insurgents

  • Army chief says armed forces support all efforts to eliminate terrorism from country but insurgents should unconditionally submit to country’s constitution
  • Says Pakistan Army believes in freedom of press and responsible journalism
  • Says democracy the only way forward for Pakistan
  • Says Kashmir is Pakistan’s ‘jugular vein’ and Kashmiris’ sacrifices will not go in vain


Pakistan Army supports all efforts to eliminate terrorism and restore peace in the country, and it is our earnest desire that all elements fighting against the State should unconditionally submit to the country’s constitution and law and come back to the national mainstream, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said on Wednesday.

Addressing the Youm-e-Shuhada (Martyrs Day) ceremony in the garrison city, General Sharif asked anti-state elements to unconditionally accept Pakistan’s constitution and join the national mainstream otherwise the military “with the support of people will take them to task”.

In his first public speech since he became the army chief in November last year, General Sharif said that “democracy is the only way forward” to join developed nations of the world. He hoped that with each new day, the relations between the civilians and the armed forces will continue to strengthen.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of dignitaries including Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and former army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

But General Raheel’s carefully worded speech, where he unequivocally supported democracy and freedom of media indicated that tensions between the civil and military leadership had been defused.

However, he made it clear that there was no room for any doubt about ‘our ability to deal with’ insurgents. “The brave people of Pakistan and the army has the full capacity to take such elements to task,” he stressed.

Gen Sharif also appreciated the role played by the civil society and Pakistani media. “We believe in freedom of the press and responsible journalism,” he said.

The army chief also spoke on the development work undertaken by the military in the restive Balochistan province. He also termed Pakistan Army as a representative of all the four provinces, key for the national unity, symbol of nationalism and guarantor of the defence of the country. “The induction of over 20,000 officers and soldiers in the Pakistan Army from Balochistan is a testament to the province’s trust in the military,” he remarked.


He also termed Kashmir as a ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan and called for its resolution in line of the aspirations of the Kashmir people. “Sacrifices of Kashmirs will not go in vein. Pakistan Army is in favour of peace but is always ready to respond to any aggression in befitting manner.”

The COAS paid tribute to the personnel of Pakistan Army, Rangers, Levies, Frontier Constabulary and police, stressing that their role in maintaining peace and stability in the country will always be remembered.

“Our martyrs’ blood will not go in vain. It is our duty to give the next generation a stable and prosperous Pakistan,” he said in his concluding remarks.