- Army chief says enemies waging hybrid war against Pakistan from multiple directions, hostile forces polluting young minds through social media
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said that the armed forces fought the menace of terrorism valiantly and set an example for the world in cleansing the barbarians from their potholes.
“We as a nation have fought the menace of terrorism most valiantly, giving unparalleled sacrifices. Our success is acknowledged the world over,” he said while addressing a seminar at the auditorium of the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army.
The seminar – Role of Youth in Rejecting Extremism – was organised by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), and was attended by the vice chancellors, academia, intellectuals, writers, scholars, media persons, students, youth representatives and TV anchors.
Today, General Bajwa said Pakistan was at the most critical phase of war against terror as it was transiting gradually from major operations against terrorism to more intricate, targeted operations against residual threat, under the ambit of the Radd-ul-Fasaad campaign.
“We are standing at a crossroads; 10 years down the line, we will either be enjoying the fruits of a youth dividend or suffering at the hands of a youth bulge, especially with the youth which remains vulnerable to extremism,” he said. Today’s event was to find collective solutions against extremism which affects everyone, including the young people, he said.
“We, the entire nation, including the parents of these young students, expect them not only to be educated but groomed into balanced personalities, productive citizens and future leaders,” he said. “With the intellect, skills and the talent that they have, we are sure that they will be able to do wonders for Pakistan in every field,” he said.
With Pakistan becoming securer and promising by the day, the army chief said that it was perhaps the time to reverse brain drain, saying the country needed them more than any other country in the world. He said that enemies were actively pursuing divisive tendencies in society and they were waging the biggest and most sustained hybrid war against Pakistan from multiple directions and using multiple ways.
“We are being targeted by not only terrorists but also spin masters of multiple hostile agencies, trying to subvert our minds, particularly that of our youth,” he said. Being denied opportunities in the mainstream media, the enemies were using faceless platforms on the internet and smart phones, he said, adding that they were being helped actively in their cause by some countries.
He pointed out that some people have realised that through ballot they cannot achieve power but through violence they can, therefore coercion, fear and destruction were their tools of choice. “Islam is not hostage to a specific form of the government, a specific set of laws or a particular interpretation,” he said, adding that it was a grand framework for whole humanity that can thrive in any system and any society.
General Bajwa said that the ultimate objective of any religion was to teach that how to live a good life, not how to die a destructive death – glory comes in pursuit of the end towards a good society, not as an end in itself. “Islam expects you to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. You cannot impose your views on anyone,” he said.
“Therefore, let’s reduce violence from the society so that we are able to rebuild Pakistan. The world is moving ahead and we cannot afford to be left behind,” he said. The army chief called upon the nation to join hands to counter extremism by providing an ideal environment in their institutions and through diligence and discipline. “Let’s help each other in identifying, curtailing and defeating any attempts to pollute the minds of our youth,” he said.