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Peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan Intertwined: Gen. Bajwa

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy ISPR

Chief of the Army Staff urges Afghan refugees to ensure they are not unwittingly, or wittingly, used in terrorist activities

Urging Afghan refugees in Pakistan to take care so enemies wouldn’t “wittingly” or “unwittingly” use them in terrorist activities, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday stressed that peace in the two neighboring countries was intertwined.

“Pakistan has always opened its doors and hearts to its Afghan brethren and will spare no efforts to restore peace and stability in their homeland,” he said during a visit to Peshawar to inquire about the health of people who were injured after a bombing at a madrassa on Monday.

Noting that Pakistan and Afghanistan had both faced terrorism for the past two decades, he said the Pak-Afghan border fence was a “fence of peace,” and it had been erected to stop illegal cross-border movement of terrorists.

Referring to the Army Public School attack of Dec. 16, 2014, the Army chief said the “enemy” had targeted innocent children then, and had done so again on Oct. 27, the day marking the ‘black day’ when India occupied Kashmir.

Gen. Bajwa said a large number of Afghan refugee children were among those injured and killed in the madrassa attack, and vowed that the armed forces would not rest until they had eliminated all terrorists and their facilitators from Pakistan. He said he had come to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital to share in the grief of families, students and teachers of the madrassa, and to express his solidarity with them.

Declaring the bombing an attack on Islam, he directed troops to remain vigilant, as incidents of terrorism were once more on the rise. Gen. Bajwa credited the nation for “rejecting the narrative of militants” by showing exemplary unity. “We were united in grief yesterday, and the same is true today,” he said. “The enemy was the same yesterday and the enemy remains the same today.”

During his trip, the Army chief also visited the Upper Dir area of Malakand division. According to a statement issued by the ISPR, Corps Commander of Peshawar Lt. Gen. Nauman Mehmood welcomed the COAS on his arrival in Upper Dir. The Army chief was also briefed about stabilization operations and border management in the area.

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