Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir on Thursday deemed the incident in Jaranwala, Faisalabad, where mobs of thousands burnt and damaged nearly two dozen large and small churches apart from desecrating the Bible over allegations of blasphemy, as "totally intolerable".
He made these remarks on Thursday during the concluding ceremony for the annual internship programme of the military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The military this year hosted some 370 students from various universities across the country.
During the ceremony, he was asked about the Jaranwala incident.
"Jaranwala incident is extremely tragic and totally intolerable," he said.
The army chief stressed: "There is no space for such incidents of intolerance and extreme behaviour by any segment of the society against anyone, particularly against minorities."
He further said that all citizens of Pakistan were equal, irrespective of religion, gender, caste or creed.
Gen Munir emphasised that no one will be allowed to take the law into their hands, and those culpable of committing such crimes will be brought before the court of justice.
Earlier, while addressing the students, the COAS emphasised the role the youth had to play in national development.
"Youth is the future of Pakistan, which can contribute immensely towards peace, progress and prosperity of the country," he said.
He highlighted the efforts of 'inimical forces' towards creating and fomenting fissures, intolerance, mistrust and violent behaviour amongst the public to spread anarchy and unrest in the country.
"It is imperative for the youth to discern the difference between truth, half-truth, lies, misinformation and disinformation," he remarked.
In the end, the COAS appreciated the young internees for successfully completing the programme.