General Bajwa was addressing the passing-out ceremony at the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul, Abbottabad. He reviewed the parade and gave awards to distinguished cadets.
The army chief said the country was in a situation which the enemy described as ‘no peace, no war’. He said they had snatched peace from the jaws of war and would protect it with their lives.
General Bajwa said the enemies who plotted their doom and destruction were watching them with disdain. “Having failed and feeling frustrated, they have now subjected us to a 24/7 hybrid war.”
He said this war was not fought in the battle fields but in the minds.
“In previous wars, soldiers were taking the brunt on the frontline. In this new war, however, leadership at all levels is the target,” the army chief said.
“It is a huge challenge that you will be confronted with from the day one. Please keep in mind that not only you have to discern light from the darkness, but also protect your men from sedition.”
The best way to do it was to just follow the SOPs, traditions and time-tested ethos of the army, according to the COAS. “Remember, we are all soldiers of Pakistan regardless of our caste, creed,
sect and ethnicity and we will always stand together as one, as this is our strength,” he told the cadets.
The objective of the hybrid war is to target the sense of hope in Pakistan and to perpetuate the perception of “Yahan Kuch Acha Nahi ho Sakta (nothing can be improved here)”, according to the army chief.
“Let me tell you, ‘Yahan Sub Acha Hoga (everything will be fine here)’,” he said. “We Pakistanis always find a way and that we will ‘in sha Allah’.
“But do not confuse sincere critique from hybrid war,” General Bajwa advised the cadets. “Most voices that might seem loud to you come from a place of love, patriotism and trust, and therefore must be heeded. We must listen to our people and apply corrections where needed.”
He said these voices are a proof that they are alive and well as a nation that is moving in the right direction. “Our strength is our strong bond with our people, constitution of our country, democracy and the
democratic values that our people follow and therefore we shall defend this bond and our democratic values to the hilt.”
The army chief said their actions are guided by the constitution and the national interest of Pakistan. Today, Pakistan is secure from the military point of view, he added.
“We continue to support the government whenever asked to, as per the law and guidelines of the constitution,” General Bajwa said. “We Pakistanis have proved that we can do wonders when we keep
national interest above our parochial, institutional and personal interests.
He said their fight against, terrorism, COVID-19, floods and their response to the locust threat was a testimony to their capacity to work and deliver.
“You are being asked to stand firm in very difficult times, but stand you must,” he told the passed-out cadets. “We must not be complacent so close to the finish line.”