Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute through political and diplomatic means, a stance divergent from the approach the country’s army has employed so far.
Bajwa’s statement at his annual ‘defence day’ speech this week comes two days after Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif admitted for the first time that internationally proscribed terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad were operating from within the country.
Emphasising that peace is essential for prosperity, Bajwa added, “The welfare of millions of people of these two countries is linked with permanent peace. Instead of insulting Pakistan and using force against Kashmiris, it is in India’s favour to seek resolution of the dispute through diplomatic and political means.”
The General said, “We have paid the price for the wars started by super powers, in the form of terrorism, extremism and economic loss. We are abiding by our policy that we will not allow our soil to be used against any country, and expect the same of other countries.” The Pakistan military leadership’s change of approach gains significance in light of a consolidated global fight against terrorism. Pakistan has recently come under fire from all quarters, including the US, for harbouring terrorists.