Respected Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, eminent speakers; Professor Ahmed Rafiq Akhtar, Dr Shoaib Suddle, Dr Furrukh Saleem, Ghazi Salah ud Din Sahib, Vice Chancellors, Journalists, dear students, valiant soldiers of Pakistan Army, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a matter of great honour and privilege for me to speak to you today on a topic of great importance. In the first place, my compliments to the organisers for arranging this successful event at a short notice. My special thanks to the speakers for their excellent presentations and valuable inputs
Now I will give you my take on the subject

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We as a Nation, have fought the menace of terrorism most valiantly, giving unparalleled sacrifices. Our Armed forces have set an example for the whole world in cleansing these barbarians from their potholes. Our success is acknowledged the world over

I am grateful to Almighty ALLAH for bestowing this honour and pride on me to command such a brave, professional and dedicated Army and I have no hesitation in saying that ours is the best Army in the world

It would not have been possible without your support. Each one of you was on our back. I want to appreciate every segment of the society, especially our LEAs and the media, for their consistent support in helping us cutting these monsters to their size

Today, we are at the most critical phase of our war against terror. As we transit gradually from major operations against terrorism to more intricate, targeted operations against residual threat, under the ambit of Operation Rad-ul-Fasaad, we must also find ways to ensure that the causes behind terrorism are addressed and National Action Plan is actualized

Foremost amongst them is extremism. Please remember, while Army fights terrorists, terrorism and extremism is fought by law enforcing agencies and society

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Our enemies, both state and non-state, are actively pursuing divisive tendencies in society. Let me say that they are waging the biggest and most sustained Hybrid War against us from multiple directions and using multiple ways

We are being targeted by not only terrorists but also spin masters of multiple hostile agencies, trying to subvert our minds, particularly that of our youth. Being denied opportunities in the mainstream media, they are using faceless platforms on the internet and smart phones.

It does not give me pleasure to say that they are being helped actively in their cause by some countries. Indian Leadership has made no secret of his active involvement in proxy struggle in erstwhile East Pakistan and now in Balochistan; nor are the assertions of some other leaders, any more secret

We are cognizant of these threats and are actively countering them with the support of the whole Nation. In fact, our homes, educational institutions and media houses are the first line of defence against extremism in the society. When I say educational institutions, they include schools, madrassahs and even institutes of higher learning

Please remember, we have defeated terrorism together, now we will go after extremism too and rout it with our values, mental faculties and physical energies

Pakistan has done well in denying terrorists of all hues and colours, any foot hold in our territory. We have ensured the writ of State in the farthest and remotest corners of the country. Today there are no safe havens for any miscreants in Pakistan

We are actively taking measure to ensure that even residual presence does not use Pakistan’s soil against any country, nor will we tolerate others doing so against us

Having defeated terrorism physically, now their deceitful message and narrative must also be defeated.

These so called Muslims, have nothing to do with Islam. They are just a bunch of thugs and killers led by their greed and evil ideologues.

If you ever ask them why they are laying Muslim lands to waste, they will tell you that they are only doing it for reform. Yet that is precisely what Quran says about the miscreants or Fasadis in Surah e Baqra,“and when it is said unto them, do not cause fasad on the earth, they say, we are but reformers”

They have realized that through ballot they cannot achieve power but through violence they can, therefore coercion, fear and destruction are their tools of choice. If you strip away the guile and verbosity, what they say amounts to stopping the fire by lighting more fire

Islam is not hostage to a specific form of government, a specific set of laws or a particular interpretation. It is a grand framework for whole humanity that can thrive in any system and any society

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The ultimate objective of any religion is to teach you how to live a good life, not how to die a destructive death – glory comes in pursuit of the end towards a good society, not as an end in itself. Islam expects you to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. That is all as far as your social responsibility is concerned

You cannot impose your views on anyone. La Ikraha fiddeen. There is no compulsion in religion. There is no legitimate force less the force of the State

Therefore, let’s reduce violence from our society so that we are able to rebuild Pakistan. The world is moving ahead and we cannot afford to be left behind

Let’s join hands to counter extremism by providing ideal environment in your respective institutions and through diligence and discipline. Let’s help each other in identifying, curtailing and defeating any attempts to pollute the minds of our youth

I thank you for a very patient hearing. Pakistan Paindabaad