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Pakistan has genuine desire to have peaceful relations with India

KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Pakistan has genuine desire to have peaceful relations with India but it requires desires of both countries.

Army chief Gen Bajwa, referring to the situation on the external front, said it continues to remain in a flux.

“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,” said Bajwa.

He said Pakistan on its part, is making a “deliberate and concentrated effort to pacify the western border through a multitude of diplomatic, military and economic initiatives”.

Bajwa also said that the security forces have provided a significant “human security” in Fata and surrounding areas.

“In fact, what we have done in FATA and started in Balochistan could easily be termed as the best example of a holistic approach to security,” added Gen Bajwa.

The chief of army staff said Pakistan has to continuously ensure a viable balance between economy and security.

The army chief was speaking at a seminar on the interplay of economy and security.

“We have to continuously ensure a viable balance between economy and security. Only then will we arrive at a future that ensures sustained peace and happiness for our people,” said Gen Bajwa.

He added that countries such as Pakistan do not have the luxury of reviewing the balance between guns and butter.

“We live in one of the most volatile regions of the world, dealing with multiple crises since inception, but increasingly so during the last four decades,” said the army chief.

Referring to national security, the army chief said leaders across the world understand that security is influenced by factors such as political, economic, military, social, human and environmental facets.

He said as the army chief, his primary responsibility is for military security, both external and internal, but he can not talk about uni-dimensional security without understanding all the other influential factors.

“Today, we have a much-improved security situation on the internal front,” said Bajwa while adding that challenges to the writ of the state have been defeated.

He did elaborate and further said that residual threat still persists in the country.

“The situation is stable but there is apparent fragility at places.”