Karachi, Oct 12: Pakistan desires peaceful and normal relations with its “belligerent” neighbour India but ‘it takes two to tango’, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said today. “We have also expressed and demonstrated our genuine desire to have normal and peaceful relations with India, however, it takes two to tango,” Bajwa said.
Bajwa was discussing security issues at an event on “interplay of economy and security” in Karachi and made the remarks while referring to Pakistan’s “external front”, which he said, “continues to remain in a flux”. (Also Read: Pak army chief confirms death sentences of 4 terrorists)
General Bajwa said that Pakistan needs to remove all the vulnerabilities before they turn into threats. “With a belligerent India on our east and an unstable Afghanistan on our west, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition,” adding, “But on our part, we are making a deliberate and concerted effort to pacify the western border through a multitude of diplomatic, military and economic initiative…” (Also Read: Hostile agencies trying to destabilise Pak, Says Bajwa)
In last few months, heavy shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) has been reported in Jammu and Kashmir. On October 2, a boy and a teenage girl were killed after the Pakistani troops started firing near Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Earlier, Pakistan troops had targeted Indian border outposts and villages, injuring three civilians.
He also said that Pakistan made a “deliberate and concerted effort to pacify” the country’s border with Afghanistan through diplomatic, military and economic initiatives and has also tried to boost human security in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan and surrounding areas.
“With a belligerent India on our east and an unstable Afghanistan on our west, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition,” Bajwa added.
On US President Donald Trump’s call for India to play a larger role in war-torn Afghanistan, Bajwa said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi never said that he sees India’s any role in Afghanistan.
On Pakistan’s economy, General Bajwa said that the low GDP must change for the country to “break the begging bowl”. “Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. Infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour,” he said. Pakistan’s foreign debt and liabilities are at $58 billion, according to data released by Pakistan’s Finance Ministry.