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Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Monday that the Army would be withdrawn from Sui and Gwadar in the next two months, and in future no operation will take place in Balochistan without the permission of the provincial government. During an address at the inauguration of Government Institute of Technology set up for vocational training of the local youth in Gwadar, General Kayani said the Army has been protecting the people in Balochistan. He said efforts are being made to bring Balochistan into the national mainstream. In this regard, he said that 5,000 Baloch youth will join the Pakistan Army later this month. The COAS also said that the Pakistan Army has been playing a positive role in the country’s economic stability as well. He said the country is facing internal threats and pointed out that countries break up due to internal threats. He said the people and the Army will have to jointly defend the country and strengthen defence through cooperation.
He said after the withdrawal of the Army, Sui and Gwadar would be handed over to the Frontier Constabulary and in future the Army would not take part in operations in these areas. General Kayani said a strong army is possible when the people are strong and prosperous. He announced that Army Medical College would soon be established in Gwadar. He said the Army would assist the Baloch people in the development process of the province. He said the Army is playing its role to remove the sense of deprivation amongst the Baloch nationals. He said the Soviet Union’s example tells how internal rifts break up a country. “It was a major power but when it lost its public support, it got dismembered,” he said. The COAS said only public strength can strengthen the Army. “We all are equally responsible for defending our motherland.” The COAS reiterated that the Army would be bound to the orders of the provincial government with respect to operations in Balochistan. He said “we want to see Pakistan safe and strong. The Army is guarantee of the country’s defence. However, national unity is inevitable for making country’s defence impregnable. A strong army is not enough for country’s defence as everyone would have to play the due role”.