‘Forces exist to ensure peace’

-COAS addresses at Sandhurst passing out parade as Chief Guest
-Hails deep-rooted Pakistan-UK ties

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa Friday said primary reason for Armed Forces to exist today, should not be to prosecute wars, but to ensure that they do not take place, ISPR quoted Gen. Bajwa as saying.
Addressing the passing out parade at the Royal Military Academy as the first Pakistani Chief Guest, COAS Gen Bajwa said: “Mankind’s destiny, more than ever before, hinges on our collective capacity to come together and take the route of peace and cooperation instead of conflict, communication instead of clash and multilateralism instead of self-preservation.”
It should be noted COAS General Bajwa has become the first Pakistani ever to be the representative of the Queen during the sovereign’s parade at the Military Academy Sandhurst.
Apart from UK cadets, 41 international cadets from 26 various countries including two cadets from Pakistan military academy — Cadet Muhammad Abdullah Babar and Cadet Mujtaba — have passed out.
According to the UK’s Defence Ministry, General Bajwa represented the Queen at the sovereign’s parade for commissioning course 213 (CC213) of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) on Friday during a ceremony that attracted military leaders from dozens of countries of the world.
This was the 198th sovereign’s parade where General Bajwa became the first Pakistani to be the sovereign’s representative.
General Bajwa was accompanied at the parade by Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Iftikhar Babar and Pakistani High Commission’s military attaché Col Rana Asif Khan.
While addressing the ceremony, General Bajwa expressed his gratitude for representing the Queen, terming it a “unique honor and a great privilege.”
He congratulated the passing-out cadets and their families for successfully completing their training course.
“Your alma matter is, without a doubt, one of the finest military institutions in the world which have produced some of the great military leaders that this world has seen,” he said, adding that graduating from Sandhurst is a great honor and pride.
“Two Pakistani candidates are also graduating and I want to share that I am as proud of all of you as I am of the two of them,” he maintained.
He said: “My presence here is a testimony of the deep-rooted relationship that exists between Pakistan and the United Kingdom based on mutual respect and shared values which have been carefully nurtured by both the nations over many decades.”
“I am sure that this relationship will stay in greater heights in times to come,” he added.
Terming the bond between the two-armed forces “unique”, the chief of army staff said: “Similarly the bondage between the two-armed forces is uniquely special as well forged on the battlefield of great wars and kept alive over the years through exclusive regimental affiliations and close professional contact in training and a myriad of other military activities.”
Addressing the cadets, the COAS said that this day marks the beginning of their formal military service, which is the most “distinguished and the noblest of professions”.
COAS Gen Bajwa, while lauding them for their success, reminded the cadets of the responsibilities and the great expectations associated with them by their alma-mater and respective nations.
He said: “The journey that awaits you is challenging as well as exciting. The demands of professional military service will be much high as you grow in service.
“You need to equip yourselves with lofty attributes of leadership, with clear sense of purpose, to gain the respect and trust of your subordinates. It is only through the development of unwavering trust and confidence that you can instill Esprit-de-Corps in your subordinates under command, which will hold you together in times of crisis.”
The chief of army staff further added that no one is born with professional knowledge, it has to be acquired through constant pursuit.
“Without it, you cannot achieve professional competence, which in turn is the hallmark of successful military leadership,” he said.
“As a leader today, you need to have courage and ability to take difficult decisions and then accept full responsibility. Correct decision-making requires competence and confidence, which can only be acquired through high-class military education, rigorous training and continuous study of military history,” he added.
COAS Gen Bajwa quoted Sir Basil Liddle Hart saying “an officer who has not studied military history as science, is of little use beyond the rank of a captain”.
“You must also understand that persona of a just and impartial commander, who exhibits merit in the dispensation of reward and punishment, is the one who will earn unconditional loyalty and obedience of them under command,” he asserted.
The chief of army staff went on to say that as a direct consequence of the onset of the fourth industrial revolution, dual-use technologies and niche capabilities led by artificial intelligence are fundamentally altering the character of future war.
“The battlefield of tomorrow would be characterized by extreme precision, lethality and transparency which would be particularly challenging for military leaders, especially young officers in the battle, both mentally and physically,” he warned, adding that this “future is inevitable”, and each one of the cadets would have to adapt to new realities in the technological domain to ensure a successful outcome in the battle.
He identified the realities on the battlefield that are immune to the ebb and flow of technological advancements and would never change; which include:
The value of keeping up a brave face in front of your troops, when you are as shattered and frightened inside as all of them.
The contagious energy that you would instil in your troops when you would lead them by example and not merely by words. Remember, when a lot of lead is flying in the air on the battlefield, an officer never says advance, rather always says follow me.
The importance of keeping the well-being of your troops ahead of your own is the hallmark of a successful military leader.
Every officer cadet should remember that the safety, honour and welfare of their country come first, always and every time. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time
He went on to say that in the interest of world peace, “we must strive to preserve the vitality, relevance and internal sense of impartiality in multilateral institutions, maintain consensus on the collective defense of global commons and uphold the prestige of international law.”
“In case we fail to do that, I am afraid we may end up destroying the beautiful world, that we have,” he warned. General Bajwa arrived in the United Kingdom on an official visit on early Thursday morning. –ISPR