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Military to be modernised, says Mamnoon

Military to be modernised, says Mamnoon

ISLAMABAD: Stressing the need for a strong military to face terrorism and other internal and external threats, President Mamnoon Hussain said on Friday that the government would take all necessary steps to equip the armed forces with modern warfare facilities.

“The government will undertake all measures to modernise the country’s armed forces so as to enable them to counter internal and external threats and terrorism,” he said while addressing a grand lunch hosted for the officers and men of the armed forces who participated in the Pakistan Day Parade on March 23 at Shakarparian grounds.

“Only a strong military can protect the nation from the threats the country faces.”

The president paid tribute to the officers and men of the armed forces who were participating in the operation Zarb-i-Azb and had destroyed the network of the terrorists.

“Pakistan is safe only because of the sacrifices of these valiant officers and men of our armed forces.”

The president expressed the hope that the country would soon get rid of terrorism.

He also expressed the hope that the nation should stand united and adhere to the democratic traditions so that the country could prosper and progress in every sphere of life.

He lauded the successful holding of the parade and said the nation was proud of its armed forces whose personnel were always ready to render the supreme sacrifice of their lives to protect the motherland.

“The March 23 parade is a reflection of the close coordination and a demonstration of the military prowess of the country’s armed forces. Every step the marching columns take is not only overwhelming for the enemy but a reaffirmation of the confidence of the nation in their armed forces and their ability to thwart nefarious designs,” he said.

The president said the parade revived the spirit the nation had felt when its founding fathers strived for an independent state. He said the parade also raised the country’s stature at the global level and showed that the armed forces and their weapon systems were an effective shield against any aggression.

“It proved that this nation is invincible and no power in the world can dare cast an evil eye on Pakistan,” he said.

Lauding manufacturing of the JF-17 Thunder aircraft in the country, the president said it had demonstrated the country’s success in self-reliance and progress in this regard would continue.

He quoted the Quaid-i-Azam as saying: “Pakistani nation can surmount all problems with unity and solidarity.”

Mr Hussain urged the officers and men to follow the vision and thoughts of the leader so that the nation could not only confront the challenges, but also stand with pride in the comity of nations.

He distributed awards and shields amongst the participants for their outstanding performance.

TURKISH AIR CHIEF: In a separate ceremony, the president conferred the award of Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) on Gen Abidin Unal, Commander of the Turkish Air Force, in recognition of his outstanding services and contributions in deepening and strengthening relations between the air forces of Pakistan and Turkey and for enhancing strategic cooperation between the two countries.

The special ceremony was attended by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, the ambassador of Turkey, the defence secretary and senior civil and military officers.

Later, Gen Unal and the president and discussed matters of mutual interest. The president congratulated him and praised his services in strengthening relations between the two countries.

President Hussain lauded the constructive role and efforts of Turkey for ushering in peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He called for joint efforts by Pakistan and Turkey to fight terrorism for peace and stability not only in the region but the entire world.

Condemning the recent bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, the president said such acts of terrorism were against the entire humanity.

Gen Unal expressed hope that relations between the two countries would be taken to new heights.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2016

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