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After Pakistan PM, Army Chief Bajwa Reaches Out to India for Peace

However, Bajwa has said that the burden is on India to create a “conducive environment”.

Updated
India
3 min read
Pakistani Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa 
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Speaking at the Islamabad Security Dialogue organised by Pakistan’s national security establishment, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Ahmed Bajwa on Friday, 19 March, called for India and Pakistan to "bury the past" – an evident reference to the tense relations shared by the two nations, especially in the Kashmir region.

Bajwa, however, said that the burden is on India to create a "conducive environment".

This comes two days after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had spoken at an event, expressing his vision of peace and economic prosperity between the two nations. He has also stressed that Kashmir remained the “biggest hurdle between the two countries”.

Bajwa’s Statement

"We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward," Bajwa said, adding that India “will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in Kashmir," IANS quoted.

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He also mentioned that Washington also has a role to play in ending regional conflicts, and said that he has ‘hope’ in the Joe Biden administration to facilitate peace in the region.

Bajwa added that the economic potential of South and Central Asia has "forever remained hostage" to the India-Pakistan disputes.

What Imran Khan Said

While delivering the inaugural address at the two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue, Khan had said that his government made efforts for better ties with India, and it was time for India to reciprocate.

“India will have to take the first step. Unless they do so, we cannot do much,” he had said.

Referring to the United Nations Security Councils resolutions, he said, “If India gives the Kashmiris their right under the UN, it will be greatly beneficial for Pakistan as well as India.”

This is a shift from Pakistan’s position which dictated that India must revoke its “annexation” of Kashmir, a reference to revocation of Article 370 in August 2019, for any meaningful dialogue between the two nations, The Indian Express reported.

There has been no official response from India on the remarks by Gen Bajwa or Prime Minister Khan.

However, both speeches come following India and Pakistan’s agreement of February 25, which observed the 2003 understanding for a ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border.

The Director Generals of Military Operations of the two sides had earlier “agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence”.

Since then, no incidents of cross-LoC or cross-border firing have taken place.

Back Rhetoric With Action First: Punjab CM

Reacting to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's remarks, that it was time for India and Pakistan to "bury the past and move forward," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says he should back his rhetoric on peace with solid action.

Terming Islamabad-sponsored terrorism as the biggest hurdle to normalising relations between the two nations, Singh said Bajwa should back his rhetoric on peace with India with solid action.

“Infiltration into India is still happening, Indian soldiers being killed at borders every day. They’re dropping arms & heroin into Punjab via drones. Efforts to create trouble in my state continue to take place. This should stop first, only then we can talk peace.”
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, via Punjab CMO

(With inputs from IANS and The Indian Express.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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