Elections 2024: Army Fires Off Warning Against Violence In The Garb Of Political Activity

Conference of military's top brass reiterates Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacrosanct, expresses concerns of Gaza conflict spilling over

Elections 2024: Army Fires Off Warning Against Violence In The Garb Of Political Activity

The military on Wednesday issued a warning against indulging in violence in the name of political activity and sabotaging the exercise of conducting free and fair elections next week.

This was asserted during a meeting of the Corps Commanders' Conference at the military's General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. The conference was chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir.

In a statement issued by the military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military discussed the deployment of the army during the general elections to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

"Pakistan Army will perform assigned duties as per the constitutional mandate, under the guidelines of ECP," the military resolved.

"No one would be allowed to indulge in violence in the name of political activity and sabotage the quintessential democratic exercise of conduct of free and fair elections," the military further asserted.

The conference took place in a week where violence targeted ongoing political and electoral activity in the country. On Tuesday, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally in Balochistan came under a bomb attack, while on Wednesday, an electoral candidate with ties to the PTI was gunned down in Bajaur while an Awami National Party (ANP) election office in Chaman came under a gun attack. The ECP has summoned a meeting for Thursday afternoon on the emerging security situation in the country.

During Wednesday's conference, the military commanders resolved that terrorists, their facilitators and abettors, who were working at the behest of hostile forces to destabilise Pakistan, would be dealt with the full might of the state. 

External aggression and territorial sanctity

With the territorial integrity of the country violated by cross-border attacks from neighbouring Iran and the emergence of an externally orchestrated assassination campaign in Pakistan, the army chief sent out a clear message that while Pakistan desired peaceful relations with its neighbours, its sovereignty and territorial integrity were not subjects to be trifled with.

"Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacrosanct and inviolable," the statement referred to the army chief as saying, adding that Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence with all states.

"There would never be any compromise over the country's sovereignty, national honour and aspirations of Pakistani people."

With regards to India's campaign of extra-territorial and extra-judicial killings, the forum noted that New Delhi's campaign to perpetuate state-sponsored terrorism and targeting Pakistani citizens was a blatant violation of international laws.

The conference noted that India's real face had been exposed to the world, and the international community has already expressed serious concerns over the criminal behaviour of India and its use of state apparatus for a killing spree around the world. 

Gaza war spilling over

The forum reiterated unequivocal support for Palestine and the people of Gaza while noting the extremely negative fallout of the conflict and the potential to spill over into the wider region. 

The military highlighted the immediate need for a permanent ceasefire and finding an enduring solution to the Palestinian question.

In the same vein, the conference reiterated Pakistans' resolve to support the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) for their right to self-determination.

Pakistan would continue to morally, politically and diplomatically support Kashmir brothers and sisters till justice is served in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. 

Operational readiness

The conference of top military commanders acknowledged and appreciated the steps taken against the illegal activities and criminal mafias, including smuggling, hoarding, money laundering, power theft and illegal aliens in Pakistan.

The participants emphasised that such actions and their positive impact on the economy and well-being of the people need to continue without any let-up. 

The forum was briefed on the operational preparedness of the formations. COAS asked formation commanders to continue focusing on the soldiers' training, administration and morale.

Earlier, at the commencement of the conference, rich tribute was paid to the Shuhadas, including officers and men of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and citizens who have laid down their lives to ensure peace and stability in the country.