Pakistan’s contributions to the global war on terror are matchless and phenomenal. In the last 16 years, thousands have lost their lives in the country’s fight against the world’s most notorious terrorist groups. On the internal front, Pakistan Army launched indiscriminate and effective operations to deal with terrorism and crush anti-state elements in order to ensure peace and stability. The resolve and will to fight terrorism began at home and was then extended to the external front with the commitment to eliminate terrorism jointly with the international community. Pakistan is a major contributor and partner of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces since the 60s and since then a large number of participants have delivered their services ranging from humanitarian assistance to hardcore security operations. National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Pabbi is another example of our expertise in combating terrorism where multilateral and bilateral training exercises with various friendly countries have been held. The recently conducted joint counterterrorism exercise between Pakistan and Russia in the mountains and forests of Minralney Vody (Russia) by Special Forces from both countries is evidence of our will and desire to collaborate for regional peace and security. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visit to Afghanistan is another sincere effort by Pakistan to not only find a peaceful and durable solution to Afghanistan’s imbroglio but also expand cooperation to ensure regional security.
Internally, in a region that has suffered through the conflict continuum that caused turmoil and turbulence for several years and passed through various phases, the cricket match played between Pakistan XI and the UK Media XI comes as a reassurance of peace and stability, not only to the nation but also to the international community. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appositely commented that the event highlighted the resilience shown by the people of the area during difficult times when it was under militants’ control. It is heartening to see peace being restored in North Waziristan and other Agencies of the FATA that have seen years of unsparing violence.
Our desire for regional peace was also highlighted in the recent 72nd UN General Assembly session. It was amply emphasized to the world leadership that having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counterterrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan unequivocally enunciated: "We are not prepared to be anyone's scapegoat. Taliban 'safe havens' are located not in Pakistan but in the large tracts of territory controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
2017 is again a manifestation of our resolve to collaborate and the nation’s continued rejection of terrorists as we continue moving forward towards a peaceful Pakistan. Despite enormous internal challenges including unpredictable acidic behavior of our traditional enemy on eastern borders in the form of continuous ceasefire violations and other escalatory provocations, Pakistan Armed Forces are fully deployed and conducting operations along Pakistan-Afghanistan international border. Martyrdom of 22 years old Lieutenant Arsalan in Rajgal Valley along Afghan border and many more are priceless contributions for peace. Our commitment towards regional and global peace is unwavering, and beyond doubts. No nation has done for peace what Pakistan has offered in form of sacrifices and unparalleled successes against terrorism.
It is time for others to “Do More”.