Senate of Pakistan

Elections will be on May 11, there should be no doubt in that

May 02, 2013

The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaque Pervez Kayani said that elections will be held on its scheduled date of May 11 and that the Army will cooperate to best of its capacity, and within its constitutionally prescribed roll to ensure elections are held. “Elections will be held on May 11. There should be no doubt in that.”

Speaking at the fourth annual Youm-e-Shouhada conference in Rawalpinidi, Kayani said “this is a golden opportunity to start off a new democratic era.” The COAS  added that the hide and seek game between democracy and dictatorship cannot only be ended through retribution, but by increasing awareness and participation of the people. “If we succeed in rising above all ethnic, linguistic and sectarian biases to vote solely on the basis of honesty, sincerity, merit and competence, there would be no reason to fear dictatorship or to grudge the inadequacies of our present democratic system.” On the army’s role in the upcoming elections,  he said that “I assure you, that we stand committed to wholeheartedly assist and support in the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections; to the best of our capabilities and remaining within the confines of the Constitution.” “I also assure you that this support shall solely be aimed at strengthening democracy and rule of law in the country.”

‘This is our war’

The COAS reiterated that the fight against extremism was not just a fight for the army but for the nation. “I want to ask that if a group rises up against the Constitution and wants to force their wrong thinking on us, and for this purpose believes in not only all kinds of bloodletting is justified, but also takes up arms against the state, its judicial process and innocent civilians – is that someone else’s war?” “Considering this war against terrorism as the war of the armed forces alone can lead to chaos and disarray that we cannot afford.” “Our external enemies are busy fanning this fire.”

Kayani said that despite death of thousands of soldiers, police, Rangers, FC, Levies and civilians, some quarters still want to entangle them in the argument of why did the war start or who wants to impose the war. “To understand the reasons for this, as necessary in its own right it is, but the fact is Pakistan and the Pakistani people are the targets of this war.” He pointed out that treachery against the state and its Constitution were never tolerated and that on such occasions the question of “is this our war?” was never raised. “A soldier’s mind and his mission cannot be subject to such doubts.”

The Army chief added that there remains room for the extremists to return to the national fold, but only if they unconditionally accept the state of Pakistan, its Constitution and law. “In the matter of traitors, there is no space for doubt.” “We will not let the blood of our soldiers be let in vain.”

He paid tribute to the families of those had lost loved ones and to those members of the armed forces, police, Levies and FC who had been killed in the line of duty

By: Express Tribune

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