KHUZDAR Jan 05 (APP): Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday terming the youth of Balochistan as future of Pakistan urged them to spearhead their efforts in all fields to take Pakistan to the status and glory that the motherland deserves.
“So get ready to face the challenges, grab the opportunities and make us all proud,” the COAS said while addressing a seminar, organized by Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar.
Balochistan today, is under focus due to its geographic importance in relation to the role that it is likely to play in regional economy. “Our enemies have been trying since long to keep Balochistan in a state of unrest and instability. Alhamdulillah, we being a resilient nation have fought well and have defeated their design. “Today’s Balochistan is stronger, integrated and on its way to recovery. Development of Gwadar port, construction of 870 km of road infrastructure and realization of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is testimony of our national resolve,” the COAS said.
He said that Federal and Provincial Governments as well as Army are trying their best to ensure peace and stability in the province, but the job is half done. “What we need to do is to remain focused on our vision of connecting the whole region and even beyond, for economic growth and prosperity. For this, the prerequisite is to optimize Balochistan’s geo-strategic location and galvanize enormous human and natural resource potential,” he said.
This is only possible, the COAS said, when the external and internal challenges are dealt with properly.
External challenges emanate from perceived geopolitical divergences and competing interests. Internally, he said “our own shortcomings exploited and fueled by our enemies, take us away from the path of progress.”
He reminded that connectivity is not just about bringing places closer; it’s also about binding people through the bond of shared development and prosperity. The network of development projects envisioned under CPEC will put Balochistan at the heart of national development effort. “If we manage to stay committed to this vision, we will be connected, not only with China, Central Asia and Africa but also with other important economies of the world. Thus, these developments will transform Balochistan into a vibrant model of development for the entire region and beyond,” the COAS said.
While this undertaking has added to the security demands in the short term, its success will comprehensively enhance national security in the long term, he said. “Now as far as the security of ongoing developmental activity and future trade running through the province are concerned, we should adopt a people-centric approach, based on local ownership,” he said adding “In this regard, over the past few years, Pakistan Army and other Law Enforcement Agencies, with full support of people of Balochistan have contributed immensely to shape the environment for undertaking this vital national project. Today, Alhamdulillah positive results are in front of everyone.”
One of the key strands of our effort is national integration, he said, Balochistan unfortunately had been neglected in the past for host of reasons, but not anymore. In this regard, Pakistan Army has contributed significantly to bring Balochistan into the main stream.
He said due to sustained efforts, nearly 20,000 sons of Balochistan are serving in Army, including 603 officers. At this very moment, 232 cadets are undergoing training at PMA.
This is only the representation in Army; the number gets even higher when we include Baloch representation in Pakistan Air Force, Navy and other Law Enforcement Agencies.
“Allah willing, that day is not very far, when one of you will be standing at my place and talking to the youth of this great Province”, the COAS said.
Pakistan Army’s efforts in the province are far more diverse than its security role alone, the COAS said and added that Pakistan Army is actively engaged in humanitarian and human development programmes, most importantly in the field of education and healthcare. At present, he said, over 25,000 students are receiving education at Army and FC-run schools, colleges, Cadet and Military Colleges in the Province.
In addition, he said Pakistan Army is running a large network of hospitals and medical facilities located in far flung areas of Balochistan which are providing quality healthcare to the people of that area.
My hope rests with the highly capable, bright and patriotic youth of Balochistan – I have no doubt you understand that your future lies in a well-educated and developed Balochistan and Pakistan. I am happy that Balochistan’s youth has convincingly chosen peace and prosperity as their future. “I salute their determination and resilience against the onslaught of terrorism by the enemies of peace and prosperity.”
He assured commitment to peace, stability and development of Balochistan at par with the most developed parts of the country is unwavering. “It is our promise that we will develop every part of Balochistan, come what may, Inshallah.”
Expressing confidence he said the current security challenges and external efforts to derail Balochistan’s peace will end with the growing realization of assured geo-economic advantages of a fully developed CPEC and infrastructure projects all over Balochistan.
He appreciated the efforts of all political parties and media in creating peace and harmony in line with the aspirations of people and placing Balochistan at the centre of the national discourse.
He said Pakistan Army will leave no stone unturned to ensure due role of the people of the province. But at the end of the day, the great people of this province, especially the youth will have to take charge of their own destiny.
The COAS announced establishment of NUST Campus in Baluchistan. “Balochistan is the heart of Pakistan; success of Pakistan is enshrined in stability and development of Balochistan.
Let us jointly work towards that end,” he concluded. Chief Minister Balochistan, Sardar Sanaullah Khan Zehri, Prof Brig Muhammad Amin, Vice Chancellor Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology Khuzdar, Commander Southern Command Lt. Gen Amir Riaz, Public Representatives, Representatives of Academia and Media, and large number of Students participated in the seminar.