General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff
Major General Nazir Ahmed Butt, Commandant Pakistan Military Academy
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I consider it a privilege to be here with you today on the memorable occasion of the passing out parade. It is a seminal event that heralds the beginning of the practical lives of our commissioned officers in Pakistan Army. I extend my special felicitations to the cadets of passing out courses. They have reaped the just reward of their long effort on successful completion of their onerous military training from this great alma mater. Let me also sincerely congratulate the parents of the new officers whose prayers have propelled them to higher pedestals in life. Most of all, I would like to deeply commend and complement the distinguished faculty and the staff of this eminent institution. It is because of their tireless efforts that this course, and many more before this one, consummate of their strenuous training to become officers, the nation can rely on, to guard its frontiers.
Dear Passing Out Cadets!
Pakistan Military Academy is rightfully considered a veritable cradle of leadership. It is here, that the art of transformation is perfected and raw youth is shaped and chiseled into self-assured and responsible Army officers. It is here, that the trainees imbibe the best values of life to develop into sterling characters. Therefore, the standards set here must serve as the touchstones for all officers.
Likewise, your immaculate turnout today, complemented with your elegant drill movements, unmistakably reflect the enviable training standards and your deep dedication to the profession of arms. More importantly, your proud and upright bearing implies uncompromising ideals pursued at this great institution. Let these yardsticks endure and have a ring of permanence about them. Let them be your guide and mentor.
My Dear New Officers!
Remember, your commissioning in the Pakistan Army and becoming a member of officer corps is undoubtedly a matter of great pleasure and pride. At the same time, it calls for shouldering enormous responsibilities and staying steadfast in the face of heavy odds. In other words, it calls for character and integrity. Army Officers need to be embodiment of courage, composure and compassion. You are thus duty-bound to uphold the glorious traditions through the strength of your character, commitment and perseverance. I am certain, that your training here, has provided you the wherewithal to meet the future challenges successfully. These challenges will come in many shapes and forms and will test the quality of your character. Remember! They will not only be technical and professional in nature, but call for material and moral strength in you. During all such tests and temptations, do not forget that your nation reposes enormous trust in you. It trusts you and admires you. Therefore, you must prove yourselves equal to that trust and admiration by being a symbol of steadfastness and uprightness.
You are joining a proud tradition of valiant warriors like Major Aziz Bhatti (shaheed), Captain Sarwar (shaheed), Major Muhammad Tufail shaheed, Lance Naik Mohammad Mehfuz (shaheed) and Major Shabir Sharif (shaheed), just to name a few.
You must also keep in your mind the lives and conduct of officers like General Raheel Shareef, who are only known for their professionalism, patriotism, dedication and commitment to their motherland.
The profession of arms that you are now beholden to, demands by its very nature the unquestioned spirit of allegiance and sacrifice embodied in the oath you have all taken today. Your professional competence and concern for training and welfare of your under-command will earn you their respect and leadership. We all know that your soldiers will smilingly offer the greatest sacrifice under your command. But don’t you ever forget, your nation will stand united behind you. The state despite calls of economy and austerity is providing the defence forces all possible resources needed for making the defence of the country impregnable.Here let me remind you that without a strong economy, rule of law and containment of terrorism, a credible defence system cannot be sustained. We therefore have to work together as a nation to achieve these goals.
As you are aware, technological innovations are the order of the day. They are changing our very lifestyle and their impact is felt in all walks of our national life. Modern technology has also transformed the nature of warfare and tilted the balance squarely in favour of the technologically-advanced nations. While the duty of the Government is to provide for the means and resources for defence, it is incumbent upon you to keep yourself abreast of the latest technology and make yourself adept at operating the new weapons of war. As a citizen of a country, much starved of means and material, you will have to make do with whatever is available, in the best possible manner. What you lack in possession, you must make up for, in passion. That is the spirit this nation was founded on. That is the spirit, my dear officers that will sustain this nation. And out of this passion for progress and change, I am confident that one day, sooner rather than later, our nation shall end its trials and tribulations; we shall overcome; we shall succeed.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Once again, I congratulate the new officers on crossing this important threshold in their lives. Today, you become a part of the Army steeped in the pride of its traditions, you join the ranks of soldiers wholly devoted to their calling, you follow in the footsteps of great Shaheeds and Ghazis, and you become the pride of this dynamic, throbbing and vibrant nation. You have today become tall enough for us to look up to you. May Allah be your guide and strength in embracing the brave new world.
Pakistan Armed Forces Zindabad