Prime Minister the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan Addressing Defence and Martyrs Day Ceremony General Headquarters Islamabad (06.09.18)
Followign is the transcript of Prime Minister's speech: To the Army Chief, Service Chief, my parliamentary colleagues, the people here, and the people for who this event has been held... the Shuhuda of Pakistan. I remember being 6 years old, and hearing shelling and seeing explosions from our rooftop. I can never forget those scenes because I saw fear on the faces of my parents; they had no idea what was to happen. On the 7th of September back then, there was a meeting at our house and our family set up a “guard” against Indian Paratroopers. I remember also grabbing a weapon; and wanting to go and fight and I was sent back by the family saying I was too young.
The Indian paratroopers never landed, but my cousins in their zeal almost attacked one of our own relatives. My point is, there was a wave where everyone stood with the army. Everyone wanted to be with them. If I hadn’t joined the cricket team, I would probably be a retired army officer. This war on terror. I was against it. I didn’t want Pakistan to fall into anyone’s ear. And InshAllah this is my promise to you today that Pakistan will never fight anyone else’s war again. Our foreign policy will be for the betterment of our peopl e.But after we took part in the war, and the sacrifices our people gave and what our country went through.
But the way our armed forces fought, the way our security institutions took up the nature of this war and the way they fought. No one else could do this. Our army and our security institutions are the only ones that remain intact because there is a system of merit and professionalism in it. Once upon a time or civil service was considered the best in Asia too. Whenever a system of merit is finished and political interference comes in; when institutions are ruined.. that’s when a nation is ruined. Wars do not even destroy nations the way the breakdown of institutions do. Look at Germany and Japan; they rose even after world wars. We know we have coal, we have gas, we have all natural resources and geography available to us to be a self sufficient nation. But we have to strengthen our institutions if we want to progress as a nation.
Initially with our Prophet (PBUH), only 40 people stood with him. In the battle of Badr, there were only 13 soldiers who fought in this war. But eventually, the Muslim world became a super power. What did our greatest leader do that made Muslims the greatest civilisation in the world? We are told by the Quran to learn from the life of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). He brought about a system of justice; where the weak knew the state would protect them. Where they were stakeholders and equal citizens. The first welfare state was made by our religion; it was a system of merit... not made for just an elite and there was a focus on education. These were the principles that were set. If Pakistan is to rise as a nation; those are the principles we need to follow. We have so many issues as a nation; but I have no doubt that we will rise and become a great country.
This will happen when those living in slums, our policemen, our farmers who work all day... when they will all believe, that the education their child gets from a government school will enable him to become a doctor, an engineer, a general. When that labourer goes to the courts and knows that he will get justice there. When the person living in a slum will know the state will take care of him if someone in his family falls sick. That his child will have a better future. When these people feel they are stakeholders in the system, when we all start feeling empathetic towards the children who suffer from stunted growth, the madrasah children who are marginalised... when they dream of becoming judges and generals and doctors. A system where there is one English medium system for the children of the elite, and our common man is struggling for even employment.
Where our people take great pains to illegally go overseas and earn a living for their families. The rising of the Muslim nation under a great leader, our Prophet (PBUH) is a part of history. And we have been told to learn from his life. And if we want to rise as a nation we have to follow his principles. I want to thank General Bajwa; this is the first event I have attended of this nature. There is no such thing as a civil military tug of war. I will all rise and fall with this nation. And I know you and the Pakistan army think the same way too. We will together strengthen our institutions. All our enemies tried to take advantage of the fact that we went into someone else’s war; but I thank the Pakistan army and our intelligence agencies with how they fought this war and defeated terrorism. When we pray; we ask for one thing. To be put on the path of those who have been blessed. Our Shuhuda are those who have been blessed and have been given a very high stature in our religion.