This is my first visit to the Pakistan Air Force Academy in my present capacity, and I have felt today a sense of personal gratification in reviewing the combined Graduation parade of the new aviators of the Pakistan Air Force and those from the brotherly Muslim countries of Iran, Libya and Jordan. I congratulate all those who have earned their flying badges on completion of a rigorous course of basic flying training.
I am sure you know what the Pakistan Air Force Academy means to the nation. It has already produced a brilliant generation of pilots and has set exemplary and uncompromising standards in the field of Military Aviation. The nation, on its part, has invested its life-blood and soul in the establishment and improvement of this institution of national, as well as international significance. We repose great confidence in the proud traditions. Of the Air-arm and expect from the Graduates of today to remember, consolidate and build on what they have learnt here. As has been said, “knowing is not enough: we must apply. Wishing is not enough: we must do.”
Young in body and spirit as you are, you should also remember that we are a nation based on the idea of love, not hatred, love for the Muslim brethren wherever they live, love for our principles and heritage, love for knowledge and wisdom, and love for the greater interests of all humanity, inherent in the faith we possess and profess. Our religion lays great emphasis on tolerance, harmony, generosity and good-neighbourliness. However, the world being what it is, there are times when one has to defend and fight for what one loves and cherishes, and it is for that eventuality that defence forces are organized on a regular basis. Defence is the most sanctified duty of a Muslim and the most inviolable right of every nation of the world.
Modern war, of course, is fought by the entire nation and with the economic resources playing a major role. As you know, this country and its people have never flinched from their responsibility in this regard and have considered no hardship or sacrifice too great to sustain our Armed Forces and to equip them with the best possible weapons and material. I am sure you realize the privation our people so willingly endure to provide you with what you need. We do this most happily and cheerfully, for we consider adequate defence to be the first and foremost colligation of a sovereign state. It, therefore, becomes your sacred duty to devote yourself whole-heartedly to your tasks, to acquire knowledge and skill, to enhance your devotion and discipline, and to stand ready to fight and defeat aggression from wherever it comes. To put it to best use, you not only need skill and professional ability but, also courage, discipline and dedication. Above all, you need a belief in your cause and in the destiny of your country.
The younger states have had difficulty with their economic development and the establishment of sound national structure and institutions. Indeed, these countries – and we are one of them-find it difficult to harness their human resources and undertake collective work in a productive and efficient manner. This is because we fail to strike the right balance between personal freedom and discipline and between rights and responsibilities. To yield best results, our energies and efforts have to be correctly channelised and we must all fulfill our tasks not only with enthusiasm and vigour, but also responsibility and discipline. I am sure the new officers of the Pakistan Air Force, being commissioned today, will, under the guidance of their seniors, do their best do develop the right blend of initiative and aggressiveness on the one hand and reliability and sobriety on the other. We certainly want your vigour and imagination, but we also need your solid, collective contribution towards your service and, hence, towards the making of a stronger Pakistan.
I would now like to say a special word to the Graduating cadets from Iran, Libya and Jordan. This institution has tried to do everything possible to prepare you for taking your place in the defence of your countries, and I am delighted to learn that you have applied yourself diligently and completed this exacting phase of training successfully and with merit. We have close brotherly ties with your countries and wish to see you prosper and become stronger.
At the end, I would like to congratulate you once again, and also the instructional staff of the Academy, for giving substance and meaning to this ceremony and to make it a symbol of purposeful accomplishment, I wish you good luck and God speed.