General Bajwa asks India, Pakistan to ‘bury the past and move forward’

Advocating for peace in the sub-continent, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said it was time for New Delhi and Islamabad to “bury the past and move forward”.

Addressing the Islamabad Security Dialogue, Bajwa added that stable Indo-Pak relations were the key to unlocking the potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia, the Dawn reported.

“The Kashmir issue is obviously at the heart of disputes. It is important to understand that without the resolution of Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, [the] process of sub-continental rapprochement will always remain susceptible to derailment due to politically motivated bellicosity,” Bajwa said. He added, “Our neighbour will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in occupied Kashmir.”

Bajwa’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan, while inaugurating the summit, had said that Pakistan was trying to bring in peace, but India would have to take the first step to normalize ties.

Drawing references from the Cold War, General Bajwa said frayed relations between various powers centres will ultimately lead to another Cold War and that it is these unsettled issues in South Asia that are dragging the entire region back into poverty and underdevelopment. “It is sad to know that even today it [South Asia] is amongst the least integrated regions of the world in terms of trade, infrastructure, water and energy cooperation,” he added.

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