Military to fast-track help to civil administration
RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday directed the Pakistan Army to fast-track operations to help out the civil administration as the country grapples with a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak. “As a follow up of National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting on March 20 chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and COAS’ meeting with PM, the COAS directs for stepping up Army’s assistance to civil administration for containment of COVID-19,” the ISPR said in a statement. “The first steps need to be taken on an individual level by the public to protect themselves,” General Bajwa said. “The government’s efforts will only be successful if the public takes precautions themselves. It is the job of every Pakistani to listen to the precautionary measures put out by the government and the health department,” he said. The COAS added that no danger can shake the resolve of a responsible and determined nation, pointing to China as an example. “Pakistan Army as a part of the national effort will also be responsible. We, the Pakistan Army, believe it is our duty to protect the nation,” General Bajwa added. “We shall succeed by being self-disciplined, cooperating, reinforcing each other and thereby synergising various efforts, Insha Allah,” the COAS said. Last week, the army chief had urged all concerned parties to "gear up preparations" to counter the virus. According to the ISPR, the Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters had discussed emerging situation with regard to COVID-19 and the preventive measures taken by the Pakistan Army. The army chief directed all concerned to gear up preparations in support of national effort to counter this pandemic in case of any eventuality.